Thiagi Group

Passions Tic Tac Toe

by . Last edit was almost 2 years ago
15 - 30 10 +
This simple game that explores the concepts from these two quotations: "Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you". —Oprah Winfrey. "Getting to know someone else involves curiosity about where they have come from, who they are." —Penelope Lively, novelist
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To help the participants to get to know each other at the beginning of a training session. To help the participants identify their values during the later part of a training session.


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  • A blank 3 x 3 tic tac toe grid for each participant
  • A clipboard or some other hard writing pad that allows the participants to write as they walk
  • Gifts for the winners


Brief the participants. Ask them to spend a few minutes to fill in all nine spaces in their grid with different personal passions. Give some examples of your passions. Explain that the participants can write each of their passions in any random space in the grid.

Ask participants to interact. After a suitable pause, tell the participants to walk around the room, pair up with each other, and compare their passions. When they find the same passion listed in both grids, ask them to sign for each other in the appropriate square.

Reward the winner. Announce a 5-minute discussion period. Ask the observer to keep track of time.

Change roles. The winner is the participant who manages to have other people's signatures on three lines (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal). Continue the game until you have identified five winners.


No hard writing pad? Bring smiley stickers and let the participants stick them on the appropriate space in the tic tac toe grid.

Not enough time? Settle for fewer lines for the winners. Limit the number of winners.

Ample time? Break into groups and share passions with each other. Conduct a debriefing discussion on how people's passions influence their relationships at work.


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  • I use the tic tac toe ice-breaker but rather than a focus on passions I do it on values that underpin your teaching (Because I am teaching tutors about values-based teaching). I also use the tic tac toe format for mini inquiries that participants complete in pairs. Each of the nine sections has an inquiry question with links to resources, websites, readings or similar and the first group to complete three inquiry questions 3 in a row win the game. The concept of tic tac toe can be used in a number of ways and it's adaptable to varying contexts so it's a great strategy to have.

    5 months ago