Summary: Map It! is an exercise made for two or more students to get to know one another. One student uses the map to draw or mark where they’ve been, focusing on one particular journey, aspect of their culture, or on the general scope of where they’ve traveled to and have experienced. Each student can choose which topic to focus on. This exercise requires a map, markers or highlighters, and listening ears. It’s very simple, but allows an individual to tell their story without interruptions and allows the group that is engaged in the activity to form global connections with one another.
Javi: I found interesting how the activity automatically triggered and spotlighted important moments from one’s personal journey, that are very personal and not necessary “handy” memories. Nevertheless, once the instruction is given, they just pop up. The activity made you reach out into significant places and times scenarios that were special and share why. It ended up being more about the importance of that moment, instead of mapping every single trip you have experienced. Resulting in a two-person bonding activity, where each put a personal story out there and received one in return from the other end.
Tanvi : The exercise was very intriguing since it started a conversation about our backgrounds that we hadn’t had before in spite of already knowing each other. It was also interesting to see the points at which both our journeys coincided in the past. It was a constructive tool for narrating our stories.
For Valentina and Arielle, it was about using bodily reactions to a series of words in order to learn about a person. It was amazing how much can be inferred from the subtlest responses. This says a lot about how much information we get from people that we encounter, even if it’s processed subconsciously. The way one positions their body, facial expressions, eye contact, etc. are potent forms of communication. It is also easy to remember the learnings because of the use of a visual and embodied technique. Also since you first make your own idea of who the person is and then you confirm it or not, giving you a chance to experience for yourself and make your own conclusions first. It is also easy to engage since it is a playful dynamic with no right or wrong answer, I wonder what would have come up with more provocative themes. Valentina and Arielle did a great job at helping us understand the other participants likes and dislikes. I participated with Arielle. In the beginning I was a bit confused, however, once I understood, I was able to learn more about Arielle through her reactions for each word. Emilia was the activity participant. Initially she approached the activity as if playing charades. But after seeing how Arielle played was able to better understand the purpose of the activity… it was about responding to the words not acting them out.
In Emilia and Mark’s activity the purpose was to show how language, image, and color can all be used to express ideas and feelings. Six words were written on a large sheet of paper. The participant was prompted to ‘draw this word’ and ‘color this word’. Writing can be approached in multimodal ways. Using drawing and color in addition to text, one can develop a thoughtful narrative. We intended to teach people an alternative to learning. Rather than just memorizing a word’s meaning, we expected participants to visualize and sketch these images so the retention is better. This was intended for visual learners and people looking to expand their creativity through a new method of learning. Also, with the color association “color the word,” each person associates a word with an emotion and an emotion to a color, therefore, being able to expand one’s vocabulary through the association of color to emotions to words. It was also interesting to see how in the drawing part, since the person drawing expects people to understand the drawing there is a need for validation from others and feeling of it being a test if they get it right. In comparison to the part to have to right a color where it is a more personal and free interpretation that also doesn’t require more skills that knowing how to write and read. The activity was taken on as more of a test. Though in actuality it would be best for it to be thoughtful and develop over time (class time didn’t permit). The participants drawing skills were pretty good, especially under pressure. For some this may be too intimidating and collage might be a better way to generate the images. Also some discussion in advance of the objective and subjective relationships of colors would be helpful.
Both activities incorporated language and body
Both activities focused on expression
Both activities relate to narratives
This is a visual analysis of the dynamic Arielle and Valenita designed:
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