Team Building Activity: Paper Tear

Paper Tear

When working in a team, it is important to take the time to reflect on our personal experiences, as well as appreciate each other’s unique perspectives. This is a simple activity that you can include in team building, training or even at an upcoming meeting to help encourage team-level reflection and creative thinking! This is a perfect activity for reflecting on a specific event or experience all team members have been a part of to encourage group processing.

Time Needed: 15 minutes

Group Size: Any, small groups of 3-5

Materials: Construction paper in multiple colors, one large piece of white paper and glue sticks for each table

Directions: Divide the group into small groups of three to five people, and give each person in the group a different colored sheet of construction paper. Without explaining why, instruct the participants to tear their sheet into pieces and to put the pieces into a pile. It doesn’t matter how many pieces each person tears. Next, give each group a large sheet of white paper and some glue. Instruct the group to make a picture out of the torn pieces without tearing them anymore. They should use all of their construction paper pieces. Each picture must be of something related to a specific experience that you, as the facilitator, decide. You can customize this part – the scale of their experience may be as small as a training they were a part of, or as large as reflecting on their year. For example, we’ve used this activity to ask youth participants to create a picture that symbolizes their week-long summer camp experience. Ask each group to name their picture. Allow each group to share their picture with the whole group when they are finished.

Debrief Questions:

  • How would you have torn your paper differently if you had known you would be making a picture from it?
  • Was it hard or easy for your group to make something out of the paper you had?
  • What makes your picture unique?
  • What was it like having to come up with a shared depiction of your individual experiences?
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