Compendium of Icebreakers Volume 3
5. Reassure participants that good drawing skills are not required for this
and that everyone will be asked to explain their “photographs” to the
rest of the group at the end (see Suggested Explanation).
6. Tell them they have about 20 minutes to draw and allow them to carry
out the exercise. It sometimes takes participants a while to start. If
after about 5 minutes someone seems to be having difficulty, subtly
find out what the problem is and encourage them to try.
7. As participants finish, ask them all to display their snapshots on the
8. As a group, cluster around the display and ask for a volunteer to intro-
duce themselves to the group by explaining their snapshot. After the
explanation, other participants can ask questions about the snapshot
9. Someone else elects to go next and so on until everyone has had an
opportunity to explain their snapshots.
10. Leave these envelopes on the wall until the end of the day, or ideally,
until the end of the course if you are using them as an ending activity.
“As an introductory exercise, to give us a chance to get to know one
another, I’d like you to imagine that you are able to take a photograph of
yourself right now that shows how you are feeling and what your preoc-
cupations and concerns are at the moment—these might be at work or
they might be in your home or social life. It’s up to you what you choose,
but what I’d like you to do is actually draw that snapshot on the envelope
“Now you might want to use diagrams or symbols as well as actual pic-
tures and add a word or two if you need to, but I’d like it to be as pictorial
as possible. Don’t worry if you feel you are not good at drawing because I
know you’ll be able to put something down on paper that will be mean-
“Don’t forget to write your name somewhere on the envelope and please
use the front of the envelope, holding it lengthwise and keeping the flap at
the top. This is so that we can use these envelopes again at the end of