- Play 2 or 3 rounds of ‘Rules of the Game’. Get group in a circle (seated or standing). Ask one person to leave the room. Whilst that person is out, the group agrees to a follow a rule. When the person returns, they have to try to guess what rule is being followed by the rest of the group by asking questions. Examples of rules to follow could be ‘boys tell the truth and girls lie’ or ‘answer the question as if you are Dizzee Rascal’ or ‘stand on one leg whenever the word ‘what’ is said.
Reflect on what happened in the group whilst playing. Did individuals try to help each other or not? Did individuals feel they could trust each other?
- Play 2 or 3 rounds of ‘Electric Chair’. Best played outside/in a clear space. The group stands linking arms in a circle with an ‘electric chair’ in the middle. The aim of the game is to get people to touch the chair: if they do, they are out and have to leave the circle.
- Again, reflect on what happened in the group whilst playing. Did individuals try to help each other or not? Did individuals feel they could trust each other? What have individuals learned about the group so far?
- Powerpoint slides about aims and content of the course and the nature of the sessions: briefly talk through.
- Choice of activity: ‘coming to a compromise’ or ‘learning about learning’.
- For ‘coming to a compromise’ split the group in half and give them a controversial statement to argue e.g. ‘romantic relationships between students at Wellington should be completely forbidden’. Ask one half to argue in favour and one half to argue against. Give each side 5 minutes to develop their arguments and then allow them to debate/argue for 5 minutes. Perhaps ask one of the students to chair the discussion and don’t be afraid of letting it get heated. Now put students into pairs/groups of 4 with 1 or 2 from each group and ask them to come up with a compromise position: which of their arguments are they willing to sacrifice and which do they hold on to? Discuss as a whole group. What does this exercise reveal about the group and the individuals that make it up.
- For ‘learning about learning’ break the group down into pairs/threes. Ask each student to complete a quick questionnaire on these slides about their habits as learners, which helps them to identify helpful and unhelpful habits. Ask students to work together to try to solve each other’s learning hurdles (e.g. find ways of overcoming procrastination or coping badly with critical feedback on work). There are suggestions here
- Feedback on the process as a group. Now that individuals have had solutions suggested, the group has to devise ways of making sure that individuals change their unhelpful learning habits. Can they use things like texting/incentives/meeting in the V&A to help people overcome procrastination or be more organised?
Plenary and prep. Discuss with the group what they think the outcomes of the session have been. Set prep: ask students to discover an emotion new to them over the next 2 weeks and write about it (e.g. what it is, examples of people displaying it, advantages of the emotion and disadvantages of it).