If you're a primary teacher, you've probably seen a book called Zoom by Istvan Banyai. It's a picture book, one picture per page. With the turning of each page, you discover that the previous one is only part of a larger view. For example, the image of a cruise ship on a bus is really being watched on tv. It goes on this way until you're eventually looking at a picture of the Earth from space.
|Buy it here. Images (c) 1998 Istvan Banyai|
For a staff development conversation about communication and leadership...
- Cut the book apart and laminate each page.
- Hand out one picture per person (make sure a continuous sequence is used).
- Explain that participants may only look at their own pictures and must keep their pictures hidden from others.
- Encourage participants to study their picture, since it contains important information to help solve a problem.
- The challenge is for the group to sequence the pictures in the correct order without looking at one another's pictures.
- Participants will generally mill around talking to others to see whether their pictures have anything in common. Sometimes leadership efforts will emerge to try to understand the overall story.
- When the group believes they have all the pictures in order (usually after ~15 minutes), the pictures can be turned over for everyone to see.
- Why was it hard to get the story together?
(everyone had a piece, but no-one had the big picture)
- What type of communication was used in attempting to solve the problem?
- What communication methods might have worked better? e.g., Imagine if, at the outset, the group had taken the time to let each person describe his/her picture to the rest of the group. What would have happened then? Would the solution have been found faster? What prevented such strategies from being considered?
- Did you try to "second position" (i.e., see one's communications from the perspective of others)?
- What kind of leadership was used to tackle the problem?
- Who were the leaders? Why?
- What style of leadership might have worked best?
- If you were to tackle a similar activity again, what do you think this group should do differently?
- What real life activities are similar to this activity?
Still not convinced this is your thing? Head on over to the Nikon website and play with their Universcale. It lets you zoom through all sorts of scales, from molecular to universe sized.