In my last post I shared about how to introduce ourselves in a more creative way in the beginning of a group work. It is a great tool to remember and keep in mind. Today I will share about a great brainstorming/creative task/exercise/energizer (call it anything you like) with you guys. It is one of the most widely used exercise and it never failed to help the people in realizing the importance of creativity and thinking process. And most of all it is fun!!! So lets get right to it.

The name of this exercise is Draw an Apple. My Facilitators did this exercise all over the world and if I am not mistaken there are you tube videos on this. But don’t go there yet and do it one time with me today. This is a group exercise and it requires 4-6 person in each group. Not more than that or it will be less effective. This is only my opinion and experience. I have worked with high school children and I am speaking with that experience. Between it was one of the greatest experience of my life. I saw change that I was looking for and I loved it. I am unable to describe this in words so lets just get back to the task at hand.

Draw An Apply

I have written some simple self explanatory bullet points so lets look at them first:

  •       Creativity and innovation is a key to a success in any group.
  •       And this small exercise helps to improve groups’ creativity and innovation.
  •       With no communication it will help to improve collaboration among individuals.
  •       Individuals will improve their decision making.

Explanation 

This is a group task so as I mentioned group of 4 -6 people is best to work with. So make groups and provide each group with different color markers and a plain white chart. Ask your group to make 36 boxes like this and let them decide how they want to do it. See the example image below.

chart

This is the first thing that they need to do within their group. Hence the communication started. Which also starts team building and group dynamics. Give a minute or so to let them do this. After this explain your group about the task, all they have to do is to create as many shapes of an apple as possible. The way to do this is like this.

  • No one will communicate with each other orally and verbally.
  • Only one person at a time draw and rest of the group members will wait and see and think about their next apple.
  • Ask them to start from one side of the chart so that later on Facilitators and group can see the pattern.
  • Give the group 15-20 minutes for this task.

Try to give different marker to the each member of the group. This will help later to remember who draw which shape. And the individuals can see their own creativity taking place. Once the time is up ask everybody to stop drawing and put the charts closer to one an other. Let all the groups to go around in the room and look at each other’s work. Give them 3-5 minutes. While they are looking around ask them to mark the ones they like with small dots. After the given time when everybody have seen and put a dot on the apples drawings they like gather them around and have a small conversation about the task. Just to know that everybody participated.

Once you are satisfied that everyone is involved its time to give them instructions about Reflection. Tell them to Reflect individually at first and than within their groups and finally with the other groups. They can think about the process, task and anything related to it. They are Reflecting about individual creativity and influence they had from the other group members while working during the process on the task at hand. Give them 3 minutes to Reflect individually and then 5 minutes to Reflect in their groups.

During the Reflection ask them to Reflect on these Questions and you may add any other questions that you would like to add. I am just providing some basic questions. After the Reflection and during the group discussion if you have time ask everybody to speak about his/her method of drawing and during this time others can chip in with some more ideas on drawing apples. This discussion is the whole reason we are doing this task. Because everyone will realize the importance of creativity, team building, communication, group dynamics and so on. Questions such as these can be a start of the discussion.

  • How they started the task?
  • Was that easy in the beginning? and
  • What happened after they draw the first few times?
  • Did they had to think harder to be more creative?
  • How they did after they had no ideas left?
  • Was this the case with most of the groups and individuals?
  • Discuss the patterns.

In my experience groups start with the simple apple drawings and these can be shapes such as moon shape, a bitten apply, half eaten and so on. And then when the initial ideas are over brain has to really think and be creative to finish the rest of the drawings. So this you can see while looking at the patterns of the drawings. If you see the initial drawings you will notice simple shapes as i mentioned above but as you scroll down you are going to see some creative shapes. And this will tell you where the brain really started to get creative.You will see that now there is iPhone logo, iPhone brand, apples on the trees, falling from the tree, apple shape earrings etc. I know you get my point so I stop here. 🙂

Here are some of the images from the groups that I worked with and apples that my groups created.

This is it for today folks. I hope you get this great team building exercise and you enjoyed the Process and Reflection at the end. One thing that I want to stress here is to have a Reflection session and than a group discussion on how the process went through and how the creativity came in and discuss the results of the creativity. Once you go through with the steps I have recommended you will find this task a great help for your group and you will implement it once in the group.

Until next I say good luck to you.

Have a nice work day.

//Imran

 

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