Thinking twice before you say or do something has always been a wise piece of advice passed down by elders.
But, in today’s fast-paced world, we rarely even get the chance to think after something is said and done, let alone before. It is only after things are broken beyond repair do we manage to sit down and lament about where things went wrong.
A more effective practice would be to intentionally take time out of one’s schedule and engage in reflecting on what has happened, what went right, what could have been better, and how to use this information to inform future actions. This activity of reflection on one’s own life and on different topics and things in the environment will be even more fruitful when done with other individuals who can also provide their input. This blog highlights various group reflection activities and online games to achieve the same.
Reflecting together with interactive activities
Engaging in reflection using activities and online games, individuals can make it a habit to reflect on various things, people, and actions. Being one of the great reflective strategies, some of the group reflection activities include:
1. Pass the parcel
For this activity, the moderator will have to prepare sheets with various topics written on top of them. These topics can range from personal to social to political and moral.
Each player will be given one sheet at random. The players will write their thoughts on the topic for 1 minute and as soon as the timer is up, the sheet will be passed around. Then the next individual to get the sheet will write their thoughts on the same. These could be contradicting what the last person write or build on that. This activity can be done in a group of 5-10 players.
Here players will learn how to quickly reflect on a topic and learn about divergent perspectives on the same without any debate or disagreement.
2. Catch the ball
For this activity, the moderator will just have to bring a few balls to the classroom. The moderator will also have to decide on a theme for the activity like social issues, sports, economy, etc.
The players will be divided into groups of 5 to 8 each. Each group will then be given a ball. The player who gets the ball has to start talking about a topic they might have heard or read about recently or have personally experienced. For example, if the theme is the economy, players can talk about the recent trends in the stock market, any business news, etc. As soon as the player is done reflecting on the topic they have introduced, they will randomly throw the ball to another person in their group. They will then give their reflections on the topic. Once everyone is through sharing, whoever gets the ball next will be responsible for introducing a new topic of discussion.
This activity will help players connect with various theoretical subjects on a personal level by discussing their own experiences or takes on them. It will also give everyone an opportunity to speak so players who might not be comfortable talking in big classrooms will get a chance to share their thoughts in a small group.
3. Build on it
For this activity, the moderator will have to prepare a series of hypothetical problems. Though reflective learning is important in mathematics, unlike math problems that have a definite answer, these problems and their solutions should be open-ended, only bound by the player’s imagination.
The players will be divided into groups of 6 to 8. They will then reflect on the question and situation they are assigned. Their task will be to come up with solutions for solving those problems with as much accuracy as they can. One player can propose a solution or how a part of the solution should be looked at and other players should build up on what they are saying.
Together, as a group, the players will look at different perspectives and come up with solutions that are as close to perfect as they could get by countering all the possible loopholes they could imagine. This reflection activity will be useful in solving real-life problems as well where there is no definite right or wrong.
4. Looking through the Johari window
The psychological concept of the Johari Window posits that our self is made up of four parts: one is the part we are and everyone else around us is aware of, second is the part only we are aware of, third is the part everyone else knows about us but we don’t and fourth is the part that is hidden from everyone, including us.
Building on this very theory, the activity will require players to sit in groups of three to four to make four sections on a sheet of paper. For the first 5 minutes, the players will reflect and write about the things they know about themselves and they feel others do too. Then they will share their responses with each other. The task of other people in the group will shed light on everyone’s second area, that is the things they know about the person that the person themselves might be unaware of. This will be done for 5 minutes for each individual in the groups. After this, the players will go back to self-reflect on the parts of themselves that they feel only they know about themselves.
The theory asserts that the more aware an individual becomes about these 3 sections, they are more likely to gain awareness about their hidden areas as well. This activity will help players realize their strengths and areas of improvement that were previously hidden from them.
5. The Unique Duster
For this activity, the moderator will have to collect seemingly mundane and regular classroom objects like chalk, a duster, a notebook, a pen, etc.
The players will then sit together in groups of 8 to 10. They will be given an object at random and their task will be reflected on the properties of the object and within 30 seconds come up with a unique way of using it. For example, if a duster is picked, one unique use for it could be that it could be used as a hammer to tap into a nail. This object will then be passed around in the group until everyone is able to come up with one novel use for the mundane object.
This activity will encourage the players to reflect and think outside of the box. It will foster creativity and quick-on-the-feet thinking all while earnestly listening to everyone else’s answers for some unique inspiration.
Online games for interacting and reflecting together
Reflection in groups can be made interesting using these multiplayer free online games.
1. Gartic Phone
Gartic Phone is a twist on the age-old game of passing the time with the telephone. With its various modes including normal, where all the participants try to draw the same sentence back and forth until everyone’s turn is over only to see what everyone was able to communicate about the sentence using their drawing. A knock-off mode is a more spirited and timed version of the normal mode where the drawing has to be done under a short timer. There’s a secret mode as well where the drawings and text are hidden from everyone.
This game constantly requires the individual to pay attention and be reflective of their surroundings as well as other players to best use simple objects to communicate difficult sentences using pictures.
This multiplayer game does not only test your reflection and intuitive skills but also your speed.
You will need at least four people to play this game. The game will divide people into different teams and assign them colors. One of the individuals will become the spymaster. Your task will be to select the cards that show your color as quickly as possible before the other team does. In a hurry to pick if the guesser ends up picking a black card, they will be killed and the other team will automatically win.
So the trick to winning in this game is to reflect on the one-word communication sent by your team member and take mindful but Swift actions based on that.
3. Communal Puzzles
There is no better way to reflect together than silently working on an engrossing task together.
JigsawPuzzles.io allows individuals to pick from several beautiful and high-quality jigsaw puzzles. The group is also free to choose the difficulty level they deem fit. They can then examine the picture and pieces, together working towards solving the jigsaw.
Engaging in a fun but relatively less consuming task also frees up the individual’s mind to think about and reflect on certain other topics that might be weighing on the individual. This could be the perfect moment to take some time to just reflect and maybe even talk about it with their team while everyone enjoys solving the jigsaw.
Sitting and reflecting on a topic is an essential skill lost in today’s fast-paced world. When done with other people, this can be even more beneficial as there will be multiple perspectives to take into account. Furthermore, much like individuals can enhance self-reflection through books and quotes, group reflection can also be used to enhance various skills in individuals.