A short activity to help learners think and reflect on their feelings about the identity and community work and ideas that they have been engaged in..
KEY QUESTION: How do I feel right now about the work around this question? (could be used with any of the four SLN questions)
The Blob Tree (right) was developed by Pip Wilson – click here for more info. It uses a simple cartoon image of non-specific characters in different situations and asks you to consider which character you most identify with.
This activity is particularly good to evaluate work and we have found that learners enjoy using it in linking, or to reflect on a topic or piece of work, but it can also be extended to discuss the way that we interact with and support each other as a learning community.
1. Hand out a photocopy of the Blob Tree to each learner. Give them a few moments to look at the image. When we have used this resource we have allowed the learners to make their own interpretation about each blob character’s feelings.
2. Explain that you want to give them a chance to record how they are feeling about linking with another class. Learners think about which blob character they most identify with and colour it in. You should explain that there are no right answers as this is about feelings.
3. Ask learners to share their blob tree with those near them if they want to (probably in groups of 2 or 3) and discuss their reasons for choosing their blob. Be aware that this could raise sensitive issues for some learners and be prepared to help them deal with that.
4. In responding to the question ‘How do we all live together?’, learners can then use the blob tree, either a new blank version or their own if they choose, to think about how the different blob characters might treat each other. They might for instance, pick out examples of attitudes and behaviours that they think are positive or negative. They may identify characters who they feel are in a position to help others (this may provoke an interesting discussion, as characters standing tall and strong may be a help simply by being role models…). They can then think about, and possibly discuss, how this might relate to attitudes and behaviours in their learning community.
Learners in two partner schools could be given a blob tree in preparation for linking with another school.
How do they feel in relation to the link?
The same tree could be revisited after the linking session to see how feelings and their sense of community and cohesion had changed.
This could be useful material to evaluate the benefits or challenges of linking work.