Find your Group

Duration:
40 minutes.

Preferred location:
This activity can work as an indoor and as an outdoor activity.

Working method:
Outdoor activity, Inclusion Team building

Materials:
Coloured sticky paper notes. For example, for a group of 16 people you will need four blue, four red, four yellow, three green and one white note.

Purpose:

Realizing society’s standards in order to start a discussion about prejudice and discrimination thus encouraging empathy with the experience of rejection or exclusion.

Instructions

  • Ask the participants to form a circle and close their eyes. 
  • Stick one note on each player’s forehead. The participants should not know what colour note they have. One person gets the white note and for each of the other colours at least three people should have the same colour. 
  • Tell the participants to open their eyes and give them the instruction: “Find your group”. 
  • No one may talk, they may only use non-verbal communication. 
  • Once they are settled, tell them you will ask if everyone is satisfied with the composition of the group and if someone is not, this person should raise his/her hand. 
  • Ask if everyone is happy with the group composition and give a little bit of time to see if anyone comes forward. If someone is unhappy, tell them to continue finding their group until everyone is happy. 
  • When they settle, ask again if everyone is happy and continue like this until they say they are all happy with the group composition or until you decide it is time to stop.

Debriefing

Help the group explore their feelings about what they did and what they learned. 

  • How did you feel at the moment when you first met someone with the same colour note as yourself? 
  • How did the person with the odd note feel? 
  • Did you try to help each other while getting into groups? 
  • Did you realize that the instruction was: “Find your group” with no specific detail? 
  • Why did you think that finding your group means having people with the same colour note, but not other aspects of your identity?
  • What other groups do you belong to, for example a football team, school, NGO? 
  • Can anyone join these groups? 
  • In our society who are the ones who cannot find their group? 
  • What aspects of people’s identity are most prevalent and what can limit their participation? What is the “coloured spot” in real life? 
  • Does being the odd one out always mean they have been excluded or can it be a choice to want to stand apart from others and be different? 
  • Do you have personal experience of being (voluntarily or not) the odd one out?

Possible alternatives

A shorter version of this activity can be done by giving the participants specific instructions on how to form the group, such as by having only people with the same colour notes in the group or only people with different colour notes in the group (no two people with the same colour). Another variation can be made by adding another note of a totally different colour so that two people cannot identify with any group nor with each other. A piece of tape can also be used instead of a note. Finally, another variation could be to stick the notes in different places (on the cheeks, nose or forehead) and see if that influences the group composition by adding an additional potential criterion.

Remarks

  • Clean instructions
  • Time management
  • Let the participants guide the activity