INTRODUCTION: In age/race/gender/culture diverse groups of
learners, reflection activities need to mirror the differences
in your group. These activities may do that, or spur your own
creative thinking to create new ones.
POINT TO PONDER:
"If you must dream of the
world you want to live in, dream out loud." - Paul Hewson, Irish
DIRECTIONS: The following are a
list of reflection activities that are relatively easy-to-use, with
few materials needed.
There are many
different ways that people experience and learn from the same
situations. Keep in mind these different learning styles:
Like to read,
write and tell stories
Interpersonal Learners -
Like to have
lots of friends, join and talk in groups
Like to work
alone and pursue own interests
Spatial Learners -
Like to draw,
create, daydream and see pictures
Musical Learners -
Like to sing,
hum tunes, listen and respond to music
Bodily/ Kinesthetic Learners -
Like to move,
touch, talk and use body language
Logical/ Mathematic Learners -
Like to do
experiments, figure things out, asks questions and look for patterns
Stream of Consciousness
down, relaxing and allowing their minds to wander, encourage
students to begin free word association around their service
experience. Guide participants through the process by offering
refocusing words, but allow them to say what comes to their minds,
without censor or restriction.
Collage of Words
Using a large
sheet of paper, have students write words that described their
experience. Provide plenty of creative material (e.g. markers,
crayons, colored pencils) and a large sheet of paper on a smooth
surface. Give students twenty minutes, and have them explain their
work when they’re finished. Explain how without everyone’s
contributions, the work wouldn’t be as rich and varied as it is.
students to see their projects through the public’s view by
conducting media-style interviews with one another. Remember to
cover all the bases: who, what, when, where, why and how. Or go
Oprah and ask the hard-hitting questions!
Rap and Rhyme Responses
Divide the group
into small teams, and give students 10 minutes to write a rap or
rhyme about their service experience. The teams must incorporate
all of their members into the production.
Show and Tell
in pairs, have students describe items they’ve collected or used
throughout the activity, including their reactions and emotions
regarding the item or the activity it was used in.
In a large open
space, divide your group into two halves. Each half creates a
sculpture around a word or phrase (e.g. peace, service-learning)
with few props. Then each group displays its ‘art’ for the other
group. The watching group can interpret the sculpture, without
disruption, for two minutes. When they’re finished, the sculpture
group can explain its work.
Group Poem Writing
Like a circle
journal, this will bring your group together in a reflection on
their service. Circulate a piece of paper around your group with
the title across the top “For Love of Service”, encouraging each
student to write a line in response to the previous until everyone
has written. When finished, have a volunteer read the work to the
entire group, and then discuss it.
Compile Questions Left Unanswered
In pairs, ask
students to write down any question they feel is unanswered from the
activity you just completed. Encourage participants to ask
anything, and then report their questions to the large group.
Refrain discussion until all the questions are read, but then allow
for an open exchange between students.
Imagining the Future
Ask students to
imagine that the year is 2020, and the participants in the group
have rejoined for a reunion. As a group, reflect on all of the
changes that have happened because of the service you’ve completed,
and the difference that work has made on your life
Glue a wide
variety of magazine pictures on construction paper, and post them
down a hallway wall. Have participants look through all of the
pictures, and chose one that represents their impression of the
previous event (e.g. an activity, the day, or the whole weekend).
Gathering in a circle, have students quietly circulate the pictures,
and write why they do or don’t relate with the picture.
More Reflection Ideas
To learn more about reflection,
Fletcher, A. (2002). FireStarter Youth Power Curriculum:
Participant Guidebook. Olympia, WA: Freechild Project.