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To begin to develop a sense of “team” by helping participants to:

-break the ice and introduce themselves to the group

-find connections and areas of common interest

-identify resources each person brings to the group

To begin to explore the learning process by reflecting on one’s own learning and looking for themes and patterns in the learning experiences shared by the group


Flip chart paper (1 page per participant) and masking tape or putty as well as several markers for each participant.

Time:1 to 1 ½ hours


1.Provide participants with access to flip chart paper and coloured markers.

2.Allow a specified time period (e.g. 10 to 15 minutes) in which to develop a representation of what they would like the group to know about significant learning through their life. As the title suggests, it could be a picture, or it could take other forms such as a diagram, a chronological chart, or a series of words highlighting experiences or areas of importance. Content might include how the participant learns, significant individuals they have learned from, what triggered significant learning experiences, what the context was etc. It would include anything the participants choose to use to depict themselves as learners on paper.

3.Suggest that participants disclose only what they are comfortable with (e.g. leave out lessons learned from failed marriages or jobs they disliked) and that the pictorial need not be too artistic (stick figures are great).

4.Allow team members equal time (e.g. 2 to 4 minutes) to present each of their learning pictorials to the group. Encourage questions and conversation.

5.Help the participants to identify themes and similarities and differences in the way they learn. Begin to create a list of “conditions for successful learning” or learning principles.

  1. With permission, hang sheets in the team’s room for future reference. You may want to refer back to them at the end of the week at the closing session. Some facilitators like to keep the pictorials and bring them to the follow-up session in the spring.

Note: Although all agree that the facilitator should create and share their learning pictorial, there are two schools of thought on when it should be done. Some like to prepare it ahead of time and share it, as an example, before the group begins. Others think this shapes the process more than necessary and prefer to develop theirs at the same time as the rest of the team.