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One Of My Favourite Things

Purpose: Ice Breaker, introductions or cultural awareness. Creating an environment where it is safe for people to talk about who they are in more depth than previously.

Materials: A personal item from each participant. Optional cloth or table for displaying items.

Instructions:
Ask each participant to find something that they have brought into the session with them today that is significant to who they are. It may be of family or cultural significance, be a favourite item or represent an interest or hobby or it may be a tie to a place that is special to you. It may come from a pocket, wallet, briefcase etc., or could be an item of clothing or jewellery.

Give them a few moments to check their belongings and have them return to a formation where everyone can see each other. A circle or arch is usually most effective.

Model the process by showing your own item to the group or setting it on a cloth or platform in the centre of the room. Take as much time as you like to show the item and when you are ready, tell a story about it or explain why it is significant to you. Then ask the others to share as well. You can go in a specified order, or just wait until each person is ready.


Discussion Points:

  • What did you learn about each other?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • Were there commonalities in what was important to you, or patterns that emerged from the group?

Alternatives:

  • Make this a daily introduction, asking participants to choose a day and bring something from their homes. The introductions tend to be longer and more in depth when a single person is sharing.
  • As a home work assignment have participants select their item from home and bring it in the next day. Allow a longer time for sharing when they have given advance thought to the selection.
  • Ask breakout groups to find something that one or more of them has with them to represent their commonality. This can be used for True Colors or other type based exploration.

 

Source: Suggested by S. Smith of Winnipeg.

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