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Daughters in Boxes -- 函入り娘 2

Based on the famous speech by the Meiji era Japanese feminist leader Kishida Toshiko, this activity asks participants to create a manga version of her speech, working in teams.

I have spelled out a nine step process, but it might make sense to do a much quicker, rougher version of this, to leave time for other discussions. Steps 1, 4, 5 are essential, I think.

Step one is to read the original essay (for Japanese readers, in Japanese), and do a reader response writing activity.

Step two is to form teams with a mix of self-identified skills/capacities:

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This can't possibly work

Like a nightmare scenario, in this case teams take a given, established object, situation, institution, relationship, saying, etc. and try to disprove it, brainstorming, prioritizing, and presenting reasons why it can not work, be true, etc.

Teams compete to make the most convincing arguments. (Need to think about criteria for a convincing argument.) Can be decided by a team of judges, or by the joker(s).

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Ten Levels of "So..."

Like Ten Levels of Why, but going the other direction.

Start with the last reason given in Ten Levels of Why.

Spoken version:
The player says her/his sentence out loud, then one person says, "so...?"
The player must give a consequence; "So..."
Then another person asks "So...?" and the player must give a consequence that flows from the previous statement... and so on, until ten so's have been asked and answered.
At the end, the person repeats the original sentence and the tenth consequence.

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Daughters in Boxes -- 函入り娘 1

Based on a Japanese puzzle game and the famous speech by early feminist leader Kishida Toshiko, this game asks players to identify the obstacles to the freedom of young women and then remove them one at a time.

Making the game is a key part of the activity. In teams, participants:


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John Cage's Ten Rules

From the great Open Culture website.

These rules can be used in many ways:

  • As one big prompt for a writing activity;
  • As individual prompts for a writing activity;
  • As prompts for role plays or speeches;
  • As propositions to debate...

They are great to use for thinking about innovation, creativity, education, any kind of self-directed work.
RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for a while.

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Liar's lecture

Based on the activity "Puro Cuento" in Técnicas Participativas Para la Educación Popular Vol. 1.

Joker gives pairs of participants 5 minutes to choose a short text -- about one-half to one page long. (The text needs to be available to all. A passage from a textbook, a handout prepared ahead of time, a webpage everyone can find on their phones...)

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Questioning into

Adapted from Writing Into...

Take a text and ask players to write questions they have about any word or sentence.

Then, ask them to rewrite the text to include the questions.

Discuss the questions.

Rewrite again, this time writing in the questions and answers.

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Cut Text

Take a copy of a text.

Joker asks people in a group (or individually) to cut out paragraphs, sentences, clauses, words, until only the most essential content is left.

At each step the person cutting has to justify her/his choice to the others in the group. If they are not convinced, the cutter has to choose something else to cut.

Or, take a text, cut it up by paragraphs, shuffle them and ask groups to re-order them. (It may be possible to find an order that is different from the original, but still valid.)

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Fierce Urgencies of Now (Campos de Fuerza)

In this activity from Técnicas Participativas para la Educación Popular participants form a collective understanding of the most urgent problems they face today and the main strengths or positive factors on which they can draw. The goal is to get the group to form a common understanding of their strategic position at a given point in time. This can be helpful for groups of people involved in different projects, or working in different parts of a project.

The Flow:

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Monopoly with a real distribution of wealth and income

Simple idea:

Play Monopoly (or Life) with an initial distribution of wealth and income that matches the one prevailing in your society.

The flow:

Prepare the game. Joker gives participants a Monopoly set and a source like Wealth Inequality in America ( or G William Domhoff's "Wealth, Income and Power" ( and asks participants to divide the property and cash among the players in a way that mirrors the actual division of income and wealth in the United States.

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