Creative reviewing with pictures
visual debriefing methods for reflecting on experience
every picture tell a
When is a picture worth 1,000 words?
CREATIVE REVIEWING (previous page)
Yes, there should be more illustrations on a page about working with pictures.
If you would like to 'see' these methods and other creative methods in action, please ask email@example.com for information about reviewing skills training workshops or view the news and events page.
|Try out these visual aids for helping participants to reflect and communicate in pictures.
METHODS (this page)
to more advanced tools and more specialised applications using art
therapy and other creative arts.
|LINKS TO OTHER VISUAL METHODS (this page)
Visual Reviewing Methods
Ask individuals to choose a picture which represents one or more of the following: something important about your experience; your best experience; your worst experience; what you wish it had been like; your part in the activity; what the group was like; your hopes for the next activity.
explain their choice or ask others to
The whole group can be asked to choose just one picture to
represent a group theme such as 'what the group was like'.
If individuals can't find a picture, they can be given the option
of altering one, or drawing or describing one.
Individuals are asked to find three items which they want to include in a group collage about the activity. The group meet and individuals explain why they want to include each of their three items.
The group are given ten minutes planning time to decide on an outline design for the collage and to decide who does what. After planning, the group have twenty minutes to complete the collage.
A collage need not be
presented in chronological order.
ways of organising material can be adopted.
As an alternative to a whole group exercise, collages can be made
by individuals or sub groups.
Before and After: Before an activity participants draw their expectations, or hopes and fears; afterwards they draw what happened. Pictures are compared and discussed.
and Achievements: Individuals
draw one picture
representing group problems during the activity and another
picture representing group achievements. The whole group then
produces pictures on the same subjects, incorporating ideas from
each individual's drawing.
Using cartoons for sharing experiencesCartoons are a useful means for individuals to inform other group members about difficulties, dilemmas, challenges or other kinds of experience which they have encountered outside the group. Once other members of the group can 'picture' what happened, and can 'see' the sequence of events, they will find it easier to help the individual to review the experience.
Learners might be interested in incidents which are 'unique' to just one group member, but it is more productive to keep to the kinds of events which are reasonably familiar to most group members.
As the cartoon will be used for showing to the group, encourage large drawings (even if the figures are matchstick ones). By using A4 sized sheets for each frame, there is the added advantage that mistakes on individual frames do not spoil the whole strip - they are readily discarded and redrawn.
As the purpose is to trace the events leading up to the final frame, 'cartoonists' are advised to start with the last frame and work backwards.
The normal convention in strip cartoons is to introduce a separate strand of the story with 'Meanwhile...'. A useful alternative for reviewing purposes is to arrange the separate strands of the story so that they converge into a single strip - like railway sidings converging into one main line.
Using cartoons for examining experiencesGroup members may first need to ask questions about the cartoon for clarification. Such questions also help the 'cartoonist' to understand more about the situation which they are presenting. At this point, an 'Action Replay' directed by the 'cartoonist' can be an effective means of telling the story. Participants in the replay will first need their parts explained. The 'cartoonist' (now the 'director') either plays their own part in the replay, or asks someone else to take their part. The 'director' can gain a new perspective of the situation by playing the part of another person in the story. (Ensure everyone has 'switched off' from the part they were playing before continuing.)
Once everyone has a reasonably clear picture of what happened, the person sharing the experience asks for advice or ideas. For example, if the 'cartoonist' has chosen to present a problem, suitable questions might be:
More ways of using strip cartoons as a reviewing tool
Seeing Different Perspectives'Draw a strip cartoon to illustrate your own view of the event, then compare similarities and differences with others who were involved.' (Each individual produces a strip cartoon.)
Cartoon TapestryCartoon strips are regularly produced throughout a course (either as a group task or using a rota of sub groups). As each strip is completed they are joined end to end in a 'tapestry' - telling the story of the group as it unfolds.
Implementing Action Points'Draw a strip cartoon that illustrates the successful implementation of one of your action points.'
When to use Sketch MapProducing a Sketch Map is a good starting point for reviewing 'mobile' activities such as a ropes course circuit, a search, a treasure hunt, or any kind of group journey. It is a particularly useful method when the reviewer did not observe the activity - such as when reviewing an independent expedition.
Features and Benefits of Sketch MapIt encourages the group to retrace their route and to relive the experience. It is an efficient way of informing a reviewer about key events and key issues. It as a highly participatory reviewing method. Informal reviewing is likely to take place during the making of the map. The end-product is likely to be a useful 'conversation-piece'. The map can even be aesthetically pleasing!
Briefing for Sketch MapThe group is asked to produce one large sketch map (large enough for all the group to work on it together). The map should show:
If the group is a large one, then further interesting jobs can be created by adding colour, pictures, or collage pieces to the map. If any illustrative material is too large to fit onto the map, then string or wool can be used to join the material to the relevant place on the map.
Using the Sketch MapThe process of making the sketch map may have already involved a fairly comprehensive informal review of the activity. The map-making task only requires the group to recall facts about the experience, but conversation while making the map is also likely to involve 'expressing', 'examining' and 'exploring'. [These are the four stages of the reviewing sequence described in 'Playback: A Guide to Reviewing Activities'.]
The reviewer can assist this review process by encouraging informal discussion if it is not happening naturally - by asking questions now and again during the making of the map. The reviewer can also (or alternatively) make a note of review points as they come up, and can summarise these points when the map is completed.
Map-making is itself an
interesting group task which can
reviewing, especially if there are interesting comparisons with
what happened on the journey. For example:
As a memory jogger, the group list all of the activities which they have done in the group so far, and then add any other activities which any individual particularly likes or dislikes. Each person draws a large oval representing a top view of their head, and draws a line dividing the left and right hand sides. Using the left hand side (representing past experience), each person writes (or draws) the activities they like most at the front of their 'heads', and the ones they like least at the back. On the right hand side, are written (or drawn) activities which individuals have not yet experienced, with the activities they want to try at the front of their 'heads', and the ones they don't want to try at the back.
Personal activity maps
probably show far more about a
simply their views about activities, making it a relatively
non-threatening way of exploring self-image. These maps can also
suggest activity-based routes for improving self-image.
Link to an article by Roger Greenaway (published at Dialoogle)
Books about 'reviewing with pictures'