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“I, Us, You, Them” Technique – group work with children

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Objective: development of reflection in relation to “self-image”, improvement of communication and interaction skills.


·           to realize own values, specific features, traits of character, motives

·           to be attentive to partners in exercise, to understand their self-presentation

·           to learn to build relationship and to interact with partners basing on common goals and values

·           to expand level of interactions from a dyad to small group (of four)

·           to manage to assert oneself and, at the same time, to treat with care and respect the manifested “self-images” of others.

Equipment: deck of metaphoric associative (projective) cards “Once Upon a Time” or/and “Hedgehog’s Tales”.

Duration: 30 minutes.

Age range of application: from 6 to 12 years.

Work algorithm.

Introduction. It is carried out in a group form. At first, the leader displays cards from “Hedgehog’s Tales” deck image up and suggests each participant to choose one card to represent oneself. If someone from participants wants to take two cards representing different part of their character, it is allowed to use two, but none more.


The leader says: “Now we will play the fairy tale characters. Choose a card with drawing of some character similar to you.” 5 minutes are allotted for choice of cards by entire group. Excess cards are put away in a box.

1.         Leader: “Now unite in pairs with a one beside you. In a pair, in turns, tell each other about yourself and those of your traits reflected by character chosen by you. It can be appearance, character, habits, hobbies, sympathies or antipathies, dreams. While you are listeners, be attentive, do not interrupt, neither criticize, nor argue about the features of a drawn character or partner  speaking. When everyone tells about oneself and own character, each pair thinks out what can their characters do together and what can they accomplish together regardless whether fantastic or real. You have 10 minutes for that.”

2.         Now, the leader asks each pair to unite with another pair to form fours. Each pair presents for the second time their characters and joint tasks, tells a story of their interaction. Then they are to create a joint task for all four characters and a story about its accomplishment.

3.         At the end of this work, group sits down in a circle and discusses the issues of what is “I, we, they” like? And who are “us” and “them”? Which of the characters was closest to you? With whom of the characters was it difficult for you to find common language? What was in the way? What helped? What can all of us together do well not in fantasy but in real life?”

Conclusions. This technique allows to realize a number of traits of own identity important in interaction with people around, to develop skills of constructive self-expression; also: attention, acceptance and respect for others; helps to learn to find strengths to interact and work in common in constructive manner. Key elements are self-knowledge and confidence, tolerance to others, constructive interaction with people around.

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