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Pen and Paper Games for Training reviewed


Title: Pen and Paper Games for Training
Author: Lucy Seifert
Publisher: Gower
Date: 2001
Format: A4 hardback, 188 pages
Price: £65
ISBN: 0 566 08299 3

This is a collection of activities from this well-known author, the activities presented, for the most part in a novel and interesting way. As the title implies, the activities are ones in which the participants work with pen and paper as the basis for the activity, frequently in the form of a graphic or a cartoon, rather than in group discussion.

For example, the activity 'Horses for Courses', intended as a settling-in exercise that encourages the participants, from an early stage in an event, to be very honest about any negativity or optimism they have about the event. Openness of this nature helps to identify those with positive or negative feelings about the event. The participants relate in pairs, then in plenary, their attitudes to a series of horse pictures in which a range of positive and negative feelings are demonstrated, ranging from hostile and resistant, through hopeful and enquiring, to contented and calm. This is a good alternative to the varied forms of 'Expectation Chart' used by many trainers.

Not all the activities are of this graphic nature. For example, as a review activity, one asks the participants to compete in groups, writing the ‘best letter’ describing the training topic to people on a remote island who have never experienced or heard of tar topic before.

Other activities are along more 'traditional' problem-solving, discussion lines, but all are presented in a different and interesting manner that should encourage participation and learning in a range of events, and allow the participants to have fun without flippancy.

The activities range from introductory ones, icebreakers, energizers, problem solving exercises, self and mutual awareness and development and teamwork, to relaxation – eg interpersonal skills and creativity.

The activities are presented in a clear and comprehensive manner and the collection is well recommended for a range of training events with a range of learners.

W Leslie Rae
April 2001

Clarity *****
Innovation *****
Usability *****
Readability *****
Value *****


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