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Group Size: 10 to 30
Time Needed: 15 minutes or more depending on how many stories you choose to share
Goal: To get to know each other
Audience: Parents, Couples, Teens, Children, Singles
Special Considerations: If working with couples or families, make sure they know to write stories only about themselves. A good rule is you are not allowed to embarrass anyone in the group. For cofacilitators, have each facilitator read the other facilitator’s story and explain how they might have figured out it was his or her story. Also, be sure to tell participants that they stories will be read to the class so the stories shouldn’t be too personal.
Resources Needed: Index card and pencil for each participant

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. At the beginning of class ask each participant to write a true story from his or her life on the card. This should be “a” story (not “the” story) from his or her life. The story must not have any obvious indication of who wrote the story and the story must fit on the card.
  2. Make sure participants understand that cards may be read in front of class.
  3. Collect cards and either flip through them quickly or put them aside until you have time to read them carefully. If you choose to read them more carefully you can come back to the activity either later in class or on another day.
  4. After checking for appropriateness, select a few cards you can read to the class.
  5. See if group participants can guess who wrote each story.
  6. As an alternative you can pass cards out and have participants mingle to see if they can find who the story belongs to.

Tips for Discussion and Processing

People have amazing stories but you may have to help them get started by telling a short story or two of your own to give them an idea of what you are looking for. This is a great activity to help participants get to know each other.

Note: These activities can be modified to reflect a variety of skills.