Two Old Exercises
John Morgan a well known author and trainer, also worked at Pilgrims for many years. Co-wrote with Mario Rinvolucri: Once Upon a Time, CUP, Vocabulary, CUP and The Q Book.
writing in the 1980's
The whole group of 28 sat in a big circle. One chair in the circle was left empty: I asked the group to imagine an old man seated in the chair. I designated one member as the old man's daughter and asked her to describe her father.
First I, then other members of the group, asked her questions about him - gradually a picture began to take shape.
After a while I invited anyone in the group to continue , but as the man's neighbour. Gradually a fuller picture emerged , as friends, relatives and enemies of the old man took up the tale.
writing from Rennes, France, in the 1980's
Here are a series of lesson steps designed to promote non-antagonistic discussion:
1. We did a blackboard brainstorm of "meat".
2. I asked each participant to write five comments on five different slips of paper.
3. All the slips were collected, shuffled and distributed at random among class members.
4. We sat in a big circle and one person read out the comment on one of her slips. People with related comments read out theirs until the first sub-theme was exhausted. By the end of the "slip discussion" every slip had been read out and categorised.
5. I designated each wall of the classroom by one of the names of the four sub-themes to appear:
meat and health
hunger and the 3rd World
I asked the students to join the sub-theme group of their choice. In the sub-groups the "slip discussion" was repeated, taking the sub-theme as topic.
Editorial: These two exercises have been submitted by Mario Rinvolucri. John is no longer with us and missed by many. I have refrained from editorial intervention and left the two exercises in diary form, the way John wrote them up.