Workshop Strategies and Energisers

For Grouping

  • Get in continuum e.g. attitude to rugby - love to hate - then count off in groupings
  • Envelopes with feely contents e.g. two jellybeans, three smarties, one snake - using only feel find your matching pair or group
  • Unique symbol e.g. on name tags
  • Coloured paper pre-activity involves jotting personal ideas on paper - have coloured paper according to the number of groups you want - after personal jotting finding others with same colour/shape of paper
  • Comfort circle activity- all in circle with leader in middle - people move in to indicate their agreement or otherwise with statements e.g. learnign about computers is easy/fun - then return to circle and another person comes in as leader - before next activity number off to form new groupings
  • Have you ever? Person in middle asks the question "Have you ever . . . ." If you have you have to move into the circle and into the place where another person has been - one person will miss out on a space and does the next "Have you ever". Best done with seats in a circle following a sharing time. you then number off to form new groups.

For developing and sharing ideas

  • Do-nut circles - inside and outside concentric circles facing each other - share an idea or have a discussion - then one circle moves in direction and number of paces indicated for next one.
  • 1-2-4 - work on own, then pair with another, then pairs join another pair.
  • Pinwheels - 3 chairs grouped facing outwards - write own ideas, turn chairs in for discussion. Number 1,2,3. For movement 1s go clockwise, 3 anticlockwise and 2s stay put.
  • Give one get one - in given time move around the room meeting as many people as you can - with each you give one idea and get one idea from them. You can add in ideas that are useful.

For sharing the reading tasks

  • Expert jig saw - home teams - select topics for reading - move to expert grouping who have the same reading. Read and discuss - negotiate to consensus on the information to be shared about the reading back in home groups.
  • 1st Word / last word - in groups of 3-4. Read the reading. One person shares something they found interesting from the reading. Round robin to comment on that sharing. People can pass. 1st person then summarises the comments made and has the last word. next person then starts another comment round. Continues until all have had a turn to be 1st word / last word person.

To aid learning

  • Peer coaching or peer mentoring - listen, summarise, ask probing questions, no advice or judgement, could include wonderings
  • Instructional coaching - as above but usually coach is an expert and may offer suggestions


  • Name a food, book, TV programme or movie that sums up the learning session and explain your choice e.g. oyster entree - stimulating, enjoyable and going to lead on to even better things :->>