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One Word Method

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2 +4 - 8 Low

Creating a sentence relating to a specific topic or problem with each person contributing one word at a time.



 Stimulate creativity; build group bonding; rleax the group.





    Setting: none

    Number of participants: 4-8

    Types of participants: Any kind

    Ideal conditions: Creative people with good language skills

    Pre-Work Required: choose a topic or problem


    Give a general topic.
    The first person in the group says one word to a topic.
    The next person continues with another word.
    Eventually the group creates a whole sentence.
    e.g. The problem is what to eat:
    My stomach/wants/food/but/not/any food/it wants/ chocolate./The grocery stores/ are on strike/ the fridge/ is empty. etc...


    Usual or Expected Outcomes: Unusual, not predictable -- lots of laughter

    Potential pitfalls: too humourous

    How success is evaluated: outcome of sentences

    Examples of successes and failures: A good example would be a sentence that make sense and relates to a given topic.
    Bad would be a sentence with words that don't relate to topic.

    Tip for use in online Facilitation

    This activity may be used online without modification to the instruction. 

    The participant list may be used to establish the order in which they flow. Another way would be to work alphabetically according to the first or last names.


    Source: Julia Zielke

    History of Development: from my brain to the screen, to the internet

    Recognizable components: Random Words thrown together.

    References: Random Words thrown together.

    Alternative names: Make the Sentence

    Comments (3) (3.0 avg / 1 ratings)

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    • Another similar approach I have used is to get each group member to write down one word that comes to mind on a sticky-note. Their next step is to organise their words into a sentence. It may or may not make complete sense but that is a part of the fun. Depending on the focus of the discussion, I may ask persons to share what triggered their words. That could be the start of a deep discussion. It could be done using a physical whiteboard, flipchart or online collaboration board.

      over 2 years ago
    • I have used a similar activity on a number of occasions and it turned out to be quite effective in warming up the group. I usually encourage them to keep the momentum going by saying the first word that comes to their mind. The words may not make complete sense at the end but that is a part of the fun.

      over 2 years ago
    • May break the ice on a difficult topic.

      over 6 years ago