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Last Updated on April 30, 2020

When providing training, reflection activities are a great idea in order to give participants a chance to revise the ideas and concepts that have been covered in the class. Such activities help to re-enforce learning and in a fun way.

So coming up below are 7 reflection activities and games that also can be used in your workshops and classes as a freelance trainer or teacher.

Reflection exercises and activities for teaching

The ‘Matching Games’ Icebreaker

Activity Time-frame

Allowing 20 to 30 minutes is the perfect amount of time for this activity.

Number of Participants

Divide participants into groups of 4 to 6 people.

Activity Purpose and Goal

For revisions and reflection, this is a good activity to either get the participants to revise concepts covered during the training or to reflect and find solutions on a topic.

Each group receives a set of cards, which have information on them such as sentences, questions, pictures, scenarios. Basically, almost anything that is significant for the topic.

They are then asked to rank the cards in a particular order, sort them into categories or to use them as labels on a mind map, chart or picture.

Alternatively, they can match each card (which contains a question, for example) with a corresponding card from a different set (which contains the answers).

Reflection Activity Instructions

1. Divide participants into small groups of 3 to 6 people each, depending on the class size.

2. Give each group of participants a set of cards, 20 for instance, with words, pictures, or statements. If relevant, also give them the items that they need to match these cards with (another set of cards, a map, etc.)

3. Explain to them whether they need to sort the cards into groups of concepts, rank them, or match them with other items.

Give participants 10 minutes (or a bit more, depending on the complexity of the concepts).

Ask each group to discuss with the rest of the class how they have matched or ranked the concepts.

Benefits of this Classroom Reflection Exercise

  • This activity helps students to ‘construct’ their own knowledge.
  • It is very good to help participants take ownership of their own learning by giving them time to reflect and make associations.
  • This is an activity that participants can do on their own but, if they do it in groups, they will develop communication and team-building skills.

The ‘Elements of Success’ Reflection Activity Exercise

Reflection teaching exercise activity

Activity Time-frame

15 to 20 minutes is the perfect time-frame for this reflection exercise, but you can easily adapt it to be shorter or longer, depending on available time.

Number of Participants

This activity is best done in groups of 3 or 4 people.

Purpose (Reflection and discussion)

The topic of this game is ‘success’, so participants will share their ideas on what makes something or someone successful.

It’s very useful in particular for soft skills and life planning training sessions.

Activity Instructions

1. Split participants into groups of 3 or 4.

2. Ask each of them to think of a peak experience of whatever the topic is (e.g., the best work meeting you ever had; the best-organized conference you attended; the most engaging speaker you ever heard; the most interesting presentation you remember; the best piece of work you did, etc.).

3. Ask each participant to think about what made the experience so successful.

4. Ask participants to share their story with the rest of their small group.

5. Get the group to discuss what they think the elements of success are.

6. Get each group to share the outcome of their conversation with the rest of the class. You can write down the elements of success on a flip chart yourself or ask each group to write on their own sheet of A1 paper and present it.

Benefits of this Reflection and Revision Exercise

  • This exercise promotes a positive mindset as it focuses on success.
  • By promoting discussion, this exercise stimulates deep learning.

The ‘Snowballs Revision & Reflection’ Activity

The snowball reflection and revision exercise and activity

Time-frame

15 to 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time for the Snowball activity exercise.

Number of Participants

This activity is ideal for 6 people or more.

Purpose of this Revision and Reflection Exercise

This is a fun and active way to review a topic.

Activity Instructions

1. Supply each participant with pen and paper.

2. Ask a relevant question and ask participants to write their answer on a piece of paper.

3. Form a circle, away from any obstacles such as tables and chairs.

4. Ask participants to scrunch up their sheet of paper to make a ‘snowball’.

5. Say ‘Let’s start a snowball fight’ and allow participants 30 seconds to throw, catch and throw as many snowballs as they can.

6. At the end of the 30 seconds, stop the fight by blowing a whistle.

7. Ask each participant to pick up a snowball and open it.

8. Ask participants to take turns in reading aloud the response on their piece of paper.

9. Repeat the process with another question, playing as many rounds as the number of questions you want to ask.

Benefits of this Activity

  • Through this activity, participants can give their input anonymously.
  • As a trainer, this activity can help you evaluate what the participants have learnt or want to learn.

The ‘Your Ideal Life in Three Acts’ Revision & Planning Exercise

Ideal life revision exercise activity for freelance trainers

Activity Time-frame

Allow 15 to 20 minutes for this reflection and planning exercise

Number of Participants

This exercise can be carried out individually or in small groups of 3 to 4 people.

Purpose of this Reflection and Planning Exercise

This is a good exercise for a training session on focus and life planning, happiness, or mindfulness. It could also be a useful exercise for talking about the importance of prioritizing, during a session on time management.

Instructions to Run this Activity

1. Ask participants to write the story of their ideal life in three acts, as though it was a play:

  • Past dreams achieved.
  • Present situation (good and bad parts)
  • Their ideal future

2. You can ask participants to share this exercise with a small group and discuss it, or it can be used as an individual reflection. Some discussion with the rest of the class after the activity is always useful though, even if participants carry out the exercise individually.

The Benefits

  • By asking participants to focus on their ideal life and finishing with their ideal future, it gives them a positive perspective about what they can still achieve.

The ‘Response Cards Activity’

Time-frame

From 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of questions you want to ask.

Number of Participants

Any number, in groups of 4 to 6 people.

Activity Purpose

This is a revision, reflection, and discovery activity. It’s an interesting alternative to asking questions to participants with the trainer writing the answers on a flip-chart.

Unlike the flip-chart activity, this activity gives everyone the chance to give an answer.

Activity Instructions

1. Ask an open-ended question and ask each participant to write their answer on a card. Give them a suitable time limit.

2. Separate the participants into small groups of 4 to 6 people per group.

3. Collect the responses from each team and give them to another team.

4. Ask each group to select two responses: the ‘best’ one and the response that is the most different from the others. Give them a suitable time limit.

5. Ask each team to read the responses they selected.

6. Comment and discuss on each response.

The Benefits of this activity

  • This activity gives participants time for reflection.
  • It is a good way to involve even the shyest participants, who would not answer in front of the whole class otherwise.

Personal Shield of Honour

Activity Time-frame

15 to 20 minutes.

Number of Participants

Put participants into groups of 4 to 8 people.

Purpose of this activity

This activity is perfect for Reflection and discussion.

The aim is to focus on what is done well at their workplace, as well as on what it could be improved.

Activity Instructions

You will need:

  • A1 pieces of paper
  • Writing implements such as pen, markers and crayons
  • Possibly even a magazine and scissors

1. Explain that each group will create a ‘shield’ out of a big piece of paper.

2. Each group will need to divide their shield into 4 quadrants, each containing the following elements:

  • Quadrant 1: What skills and abilities do you bring to the workplace
  • Quadrant 2: What skills and abilities do you need to improve upon in the workplace
  • Quadrant 3: What frustrates you about our workplace
  • Quadrant 4: What is a source of pride at your workplace

3. Ask the groups to use only images, photos, drawings and graphics. No words are allowed.

4. Give them 10 minutes to create their shield.

5. Give every group the chance to share their results by asking them to present their shield to the rest of the class. Allow 1 to 2 minutes for each presentation.

The Benefits of this activity

  • By promoting discussion, this exercise stimulates deep learning.
  • This activity engages visual and kinaesthetic learning styles.

Personal Brand Tagline

Personal brand tagline training activity exercise

Time-frame

5 to 10 minutes

Participants

Any number of participants. This activity is done individually and the results can then be shared with the rest of the class.

Purpose of the Exercise

This is a great marketing, creativity, or self-reflection exercise. This activity can be used for training sessions on copywriting, marketing (including digital marketing), soft skills, writing CVs. It can be quite a versatile tool.

Activity Instructions

1. Provide participants with pen and paper if they do not already have them.

2. Ask participants to write a tagline as a tweet, using only 140 characters to promote themselves.

3. Share with the rest of the class and discuss.

Benefits of this Activity

  • This is a good exercise to help participants focus on the essentials and on what is important.
  • The results can be funny, so this may be a useful activity to lighten the mood.
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Dr Paul Symonds

Paul is a trained researcher with a PhD in wayfinding. Paul is a co-founder of Symonds training. We focus on providing high-quality training materials packages and programs for trainers, classroom teachers and HR departments.

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