In advance, create a montage of images that is populated with a wide variety of 12 to 25 photographs.
At an appropriate time in your session, display (or share) this board for your group to view.
Pose a question or make a statement that will invite your group to reflect on these images.
Ask each person to select one or more images which reflect their response to your question.
Invite several people to share which image they chose and why.
Continue sharing and/or pose a new question.
How To Play Narrative
I love the simplicity and power of this reflection strategy. It is infinitely creative and just as inspiring in the way it can evoke valuable conversations and interaction.
In advance, you’ll need to prepare one or more boards with multiple images. You can’t get this wrong but aim to choose a wide variety of images, icons and photographs that reflect the array of emotions every human being may and can experience in their lifetime.
To inspire you and to serve as a useful guide, take a look at this digital reflection board, produced with padlet. Note, while this board is digital, you can produce a physical board of images as large or small as you desire. A digital version of this photographic imageboard can be found in the Resources tab.
The simplest method may be to fill a large sheet of paper with images you have cut out of a pile of newspapers and magazines, which you can then share tangibly in front of your group.
Or, for the purposes of virtual groups, you have even more creative options for what you can produce and share on-screen, especially if you have a padlet account. Take a look at this and this as just two examples.
Either way, once you have shared or displayed your imageboard, pull it out when you are ready to invite your group to reflect on their experience.
Pick an image that captures the essence of how you’re feeling right now.
When you think of this group, which image best fits your understanding of it.
In regards to the health of this project, what image comes to mind?
Allow a few moments for your group to ponder and reflect on their choices.
Then, depending on what you’re trying to get done, you have several options to move forward.
You could ask one or more people to (verbally) share what image they chose and why, or in the case of virtual programs, you could invite your group to use the annotate tool to mark their choice of image.
Continue the opportunity for others to share or introduce a new question or imageboard. Once you have processed these experiences, you will be ready to move on.
Practical Leadership Tips
When creating your own reflection board, be sure to select a wide variety of images. You can’t get this wrong, but an overabundance of one type of image (eg happy and cheerful) may make this exercise less useful.
Any image will work, but photographs are often the most evocative. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words.
If you use padlet technology, there are a couple of options in the Variations tab that will interest you. If you are unfamiliar with paldet, one of its greatest benefits is the fact that your virtual attendees do not need to login or sign-up for anything to access your online content. So easy, brilliant. Take a look at this and this as just two simple examples I’ve created.
In case you’re wondering – Yes, you are welcome to use the two padlets I have created with your groups. No login or signup is required and both padlets have been configured to ‘read-only’ so nothing can go wrong 🙂
Emojis: Display a wide variety of emoji images for your group to choose from, selected from a deck of EMOJI Cards. A sample emoji imageboard can be downloaded from the Resources tab (and viewed online too.)
Nature: Collect a wide variety of natural objects that can be found in nature to serve as your imageboard, eg pine cones, leaves, dirt, roots, trash, water, sticks, rocks, etc. Caution your group to avoid collecting live objects.
Ready To Learn: Here’s a wonderfully simple example of how you can leverage this technique to invite your group to reflect on their readiness to learn. Click here to see an online version of this technique.
Do It Yourself: Invite your group to search through a newspaper or magazine (or the internet) to find an appropriate image (in response to your question or prompt) to share with the group. Note, if you are concerned about the potential sharing of inappropriate images, frame accordingly.
Open the Virtual Adaptation tab to learn how to present this activity online.
In advance, produce an imageboard (or page) populated with dozens of digital images which express a range of emotions. Worst case scenario, take a photograph of your hard-copy imageboard and share this during your virtual presentation. Then share this board with your group using your video conferencing software, eg share screen function.
Digital reflection boards offer many more options to invite engagement and interaction, eg annotation, likes, votes and ranks, adding comments, etc. If you have a padlet account, configure the settings to switch on Likes (hearts) or Votes (thumbs up) and then ask each person to like or thumbs up in response to your question or statement. Otherwise, share your screen and ask your group to use the annotate tool to mark their choices. Take a look at two same padlets showcasing an Emoji Reflection Board and a Photo Reflection Board.
Or, direct your group to a reflection padlet which is entirely empty. Use your question or statement as the page heading. Then, ask each person to open a new dialogue box (simple as a double-click on the page) to enter their response.
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Useful Framing Ideas
It may sound like…
“HAVING COMPLETED THIS EXERCISE, I WANT YOU TO LOOK AT THIS IMAGEBOARD AND SELECT ONE OR MORE IMAGES WHICH REFLECT YOUR VISION FOR THIS PROJECT…”
“WE HAVE EXPERIENCED A RANGE OF EMOTIONS DURING THIS PROGRAM, SOME GOOD, SOME BAD, SOME WE’RE NOT SO SURE ABOUT. IN A MOMENT, I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU A LARGE BOARD OF PHOTOGRAPHS AND I WOULD LIKE YOU TO PICK ONE IMAGE THAT CAPTURES HOW YOU FELT DURING ONE OF THESE TIMES…”
“WE’VE COME TO THE END OF THE WORKSHOP. WOULD YOU MIND TAKING 30 SECONDS NOW AND VISITING THIS WEBPAGE [ enter URL into chat room ] AND ANSWERING A FEW QUICK QUESTIONS FOR ME…”
The inspiration for Reflection Board was sourced during my experience as a participant in an online training workshop with Berry Street Education Model.