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Exercise, Group Building Activity

Train of clay

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To raise the awareness that the participants on a project are not the passengers on a train but the drivers!!!

Description of the tool

preparation: make two tables covered with plastic.Devide the amount of clay in 6 equal parts.

The group should be split up in two, each with a leader ( choosen randomly)

Task : to connect two groups, by using a train of clay as a methaphore, as a symbol of a youth exchange.

Part 1 (15 minutes): the members of each group can only do what the leader tells them to do - this leader is instructed by the facilitator.
- group A makes the engine of the train,
group B makes the wagons
The leaders can only meet once to decide on size , shape etc.
other group memebrs can not take initiative and can not bring creativity...

Part 2 (15 minutes):
- no more leaders, every body is equal
- but now nobody can speak or write, verything has to be non verbal...
task : each group has to make 1 train station representing their background

Part 3 : no leaders, all equal , everybody can speak and communicate with the members of the own group
one representative can meet another representative for 2 minutes ( only once)
task : make the tracks to connect both stations with each other,

On the end the two tables should be placed together and the tracks should fit so the engine can go to pick up the wagons...

Reviewing aferwards:
suggested questions:
- did you like this?
- how did ou feel during part 1,2,3
what was the difference in feeling
did anybody feel excluded? frustrated???
Do you regcongnize things from reality?


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

This tool is for

12 - 30

and addresses

Social Inclusion, Group Dynamics, Youth Participation

Materials needed:

- plastic folie to protect the tables
- group divison system


1h30 - 1h45

Behind the tool

The tool was created by


(If you can claim authorship of this tool, please contact !)

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Henk Persyn (on 23 July 2008)

and last modified

17 December 2008

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