Throughout our process, we used a number of different activities to explore reflection and storytelling from different angles. Below are a few of our favorites:
Six Word Story
Legend has it that one time when Ernest Hemingway was in a bar (shocking), he was challenged to write a complete story in only six words. He wrote: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This exercise in brevity has become a favorite writing exercise. The ‘rules’ are simply to write a story in 6 words. The interpretation is up to you. Colorful sticky notes or notecards are recommended. You can choose to share with the group.
Example—The Race Card Project
What? So What? Now What?
This is a popular model to guide reflection activity. ‘What’ refers to thinking about what happened objectively without judgment or interpretation. ‘So What’ refers to feelings, ideas and analysis of the experience to derive insights about what you learned. ‘Now What’ refers to the broader implications of the experience and how you will act in the future as a result of the experience.
(Adapted from the Northwest Service Academy Reflection Toolkit)
Riffing is one method of offering group feedback. One person shares their story to the rest of the group, and upon completion, the rest of the group spends a few minutes offering feedback in a casual, conversational and constructive way. The key is that the person who shared must remain silent, as if he or she were a fly on the wall, simply absorbing the commentary. At the end of the feedback sharing, the person who shared has the opportunity to reflect what he or she heard back to the group, pointing out interesting insights or asking for further clarification.
Powers of 10
A great reflection activity, the idea is to consider one aspect of something over increasing and decreasing magnitudes of context.