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Human Map

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Fun introduction activity on where people were born, live and study.



This can be used as an ice breaker or introduction for any training or facilitation event where geography may be important such as a national or international event.




    Setting: The room (or out door space) needs to be large enough for people to move about freely preferably without tables and chairs.


    1. We want to do a short exercise based on a bit of geography. I hope that you will get to know your colleagues a bit better.


    1. I would like each of you to move to a place in the room that represents the place of your birth (this can vary depending on the group).

    2. The direction north is that way (Point toward one end of the room. It is best if that direction actually is north as this will save some unnecessary discussion.) Point south and say that direction is south, etc.

    3. The center of the room is where we are now.

    4. Now please move to the place where you were born. Give the group some time to do this.

    5. Once the group is settled ask them to introduce themselves to those nearest to them.

    6. For groups fewer than 25 to 30 have everyone introduce themselves to the whole group and say where they were born. (For larger groups have the groups select a spokesperson and have them name the cities everyone in their group is from.)

    7. Now we want you to move to the place on our imaginary map where you went to school. (The facilitator can choose different kinds of places such as where they live now, were they were married, or where they were 10 years ago.)

    8. Repeat step 6.

    Tip for online facilitation : Use a collaboration platform to enable participants to "move" to the respective virtual zones by clicking to enter the zone. (Note: pre-setup the design in online collaboration platform). Then, have everyone introduce themselves.


    1. Where is a place you have not heard of before?

    2. What is something that surprise you?

    3. What did you learn?

    4. Who is someone you would like to talk to?

    Usual or Expected Outcomes: People get to know each other in a different way.


    Derived from: Eve Jordan at S&N International in Zaltbommel, The Netherlands

    Comments (3) (5.0 avg / 1 ratings)

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    • Sounds fun. I wonder if it can be done online. People drawing dots on a sheet of paper perhaps?

      over 1 year ago
    • A variation might be to have a map laid out on the ground or floor -- a global map perhaps. I participated in one once in Australia with traditional Aboriginal territories designated with the names of the peoples that belonged to those territories on them.

      about 4 years ago
    • If outdoors, may need to set boundaries for the exercise.

      about 4 years ago