Index card with words and numbers on it as seen in ice-breaker ID Numbers

ID Numbers

Creative & numerical strategy to get to know people.

  • Fun
  • Promotes creativity
  • Highly interactive
  • Inspires curiosity
  • Virtual options

Step-by-Step Instructions

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Add your Comments...

Have you played this activity? What worked, what didn't work? What type of group? Do you have useful advice for other users? Do you know a fun variation?

Comments (2)

  1. jeWElle de Mesa

    Thaaaaanks mucho for the learning pod today, Mark. I feel so honoured and energised! woohoooooh!

    Just to add to this activity and say I have used the same ID cards with people/groups I have regular interactions with. Each time we meet, there is an expansion, progress, some kind of ‘leveling up’ – first time with numbers, next time we used the same card and added letters, the third session we added symbols – or anything that is not a letter or a number. I am thinking of a fourth level – something that hopefully encourages them to further appreciate the ID card as art – have everyone put/paste/attach something to the card – cut-outs, glitter, photo, et al.

    If we want to include an opportunity for people to guess the meanings – in my experience it is best done in pairs. This ‘guessing game’ part proceeds by asking ‘any ideas what the numbers mean?’; the resulting guesses are ‘labeled’ as matching or not matching/connected or not as connected (other ways) rather than ‘wrong/right’. The guessing gamers are encouraged to think of a range of possible meanings and are thanked for trying (opportunity for processing later).

    Choosing the ‘theme’ gets discussed in the group – the foundational intention is for each person to feel safer and more secure in the group, and tell others something about their life ‘that they are comfortable to share’ – which I think is one of the key ingredients to building trust and group cohesion. I’ve done different ways of identifying themes – all anonymous suggestions in a box, posted on boards, sent as emails, et al. Any other ideas, colleagues? 😉

    The other way I use the cards is before we say ‘goodbye/see you again’, we go back to the IDs and ask – using one or a combination, choose a number/numbers that help describe our experience today – what we learned, insights, messages to people/the group, aha/light bulb moments – again, whatever they are comfortable sharing (stretch zone sharing may be explored for the 3rd or other succeeding sessions). If the number isn’t/numbers aren’t there then they are encouraged to mention a new one/combination. If the course has an endpoint – we can all look back at the ID cards and see the adventure, discovery…

    • Mark

      jOeL, thank you so much for your effort to share here. As discussed in our Learning Pod session, I love your idea of using symbols on the cards, too. Well played 🙂

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