A walk in the woods

General Aim

To understand the ways in which we use creativity to know ourselves and the people around us.

Learning goals

Using different elements in a scenario or story to enhance self-awareness and self-reflection.

Short description/background/Introduction/Tips for the trainer

This exercise is designed to understand how human beings move through different areas of their lives and what they value the most in their relationships.

Target

NEETs and trainers

Suggested group

15-20 people

Materials

Pen and paper

Duration

1h 40m

Procedure/steps

1st Phase – Questions and answers (20 min)

The trainer will read the following scenario and will ask the questions below. The participants will try and visualise themselves in the scenes and write down the first thing that comes to their minds:

  1. You are walking in a beautiful woodland area, as the sun shines through the trees and a gentle breeze flows over your whole body.  It’s a beautiful day.  You are walking with someone:

 Who are you walking with?

  1. As you walk through the woods, up ahead you see an animal in front of you:

What kind of animal is it?

  1. What happens with you and the animal, and what interaction takes place between you and the animal?
  2. As you walk deeper into the woods, you come to a clearing, and in the middle of the clearing there is your perfect house.

Describe its size

  1. You tentatively walk to the front door of this house and enter as the door is slightly open. As you walk in, you go to the dining area and see a table.  

Describe what you see on and around the table.

  1. As you finish looking around you, exit the house via the back door into the garden area. In the centre of the garden, in the grass, you see a cup.

What material is the cup made of (ceramic, glass, porcelain etc)

2nd Phase – What happens after? (30 min)

Participants will be asked to write a small story based on the scenario given to them and their answers.

3rd Phase – Stories exchange (30 min)

 Participants will now be paired up and will be asked to read each other stories. They will have the freedom to exchange opinions on those stories, discuss them, and tell their group mates what inspired them to answer in a certain way.

 4th Phase – Based on what they have learnt, participants will have the possibility to evaluate their own stories and rewrite them (20 min)

 Trainers will ask questions like: Do you like your story? Is there anything you would change about it? If yes, what elements would you change about it? What element would you add to the story? How has the perception of another person changed your story?

Evaluation/Final debriefing

Based on this exercise, everyone will have the chance to use a blend of fantasy and real-life elements to put together different pieces of their lives. Even if the general setting of the scenario is pre-constructed, the fact that people can continue the story and introduce items that represent their current view of the world can build a baseline for an inner transformative experience. Most of all, the last phase is the most important: if the first three steps help participants to see their thinking patterns more clearly, the last one gives them the power to re-write their own scenario and cathartically build more ownership over their lives.