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This is an ideas sorting activity that is a natural follow-on from a regular Brainstorming, or similar idea-capturing, session.



60 minutes



Flipchart paper.

Marker pens.

Sticky notes (multiple colours).

Prepared headings on A4 coloured card: PROJECT 1, PROJECT 2, etc. Prepared headings on A4 coloured card: ACTION PLANS.

Prepared flipchart sheet marked PARKING SPACE.



  1. Imagine that the group has already done a Brainstorming session about “New Project Ideas”. If they have not already done so, invite them to order them 1, 2, 3, etc using the Dot Voting activity. (10 minutes if voting required)
  2. Taking topic 1, create a question on a flipchart sheet. For example, if the new project is to create a Youth Council then the question might be “What must we do to establish a Youth Council?”. Invite an artistic participant to draw a picture on the flipchart to accompany the question.
  3. Ask each participant to silently consider the question and write ideas on sticky notes. (10 minutes)
  4. With the heading Project 1 already on a wall, the Facilitator gathers in all the sticky notes and places them randomly on the wall.
  5. The participants then stand and read the sticky notes and start to re-arrange them into themed clusters. (15 minutes)
  6. The Facilitator sticks the flipchart sheet PARKING SPACE to the wall so that any sticky notes that don’t seem to immediately fit into a group can be “parked”. Any duplicate ideas should be kept together since it indicates shared thinking.
  7. When the participants have finished the re-arranging, or time has run out, invite the group to suggest titles for the separate clusters, agree the names, write them on different colour sticky notes (maybe larger ones), and add to the wall. (10 minutes)
  8. Ask participants to consider, in silence, how the ideas are arranged in clusters. (5 minutes)
  9. Invite any proposals to make changes or introduce new links between clusters (or re-naming if clusters are enlarged); and ask them to consider any ideas in the PARKING SPACE, and what to do with them. (5 minutes)
  10. Break the large group into smaller groups of 4 – 5 participants and assign one or more of the clusters, they are named, to each group.
  11. Each group now produces an ACTION PLAN based on their allocated cluster(s); this should be represented on a flipchart sheet marked:


Add extra if needed


This phase may require 20 minutes.

  1. The groups post their ACTION PLANS on a wall and everyone reads all the sheets. (10 minutes)
  2. Ask the participants to suggest an order, 1, 2, 3, etc, for the ACTION PLANS. If there are gaps, invite the whole group to suggest how these might be addressed. (10 minutes)



  1. Ask the participants to identify a named person who will take overall responsibility for each ACTION PLAN and nominate who will have overall responsibility for making it all happen. (5 minutes)
  2. Invite closing comments from participants. (5 minutes)



The Facilitator invites the group to share their experiences. (10 minutes)



How would the group use this ACTIVITY in the future and would they make changes? Capture, record, circulate.

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