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This ACTIVITY is designed to enable participants to move beyond the conventional understanding and interpretation of things; its purpose is to allow free ideas to flourish and encourage creativity – to identify objects that represent a metaphor to enable deconstruction of problems and solutions. Ideas for consideration should be identified before this ACTIVITY using TEAM THINK, CLUSTER MAPPING, GENERATOR, or a conventional Brainstorming session.



70 – 85 minutes. (depending on which cards are used)



Either a set of post cards with random images or a blank set of A4 coloured card.

Flipchart sheets.

Marker pens.



  1. If choosing the blank A4 card option, the Facilitator hands an A4 card to each participant.
  2. The group is asked to suggest a random list of things, for example, a tree, a house, etc.; the Facilitator writes these on a flipchart. Ensure that everyone has made at least one suggestion. (15 minutes)
  3. Participants are then asked to draw a simple picture of one suggestion on the A4 card and write 3 significant elements: for example, if someone suggests a tree their comments might be that it has deep roots, provides leaves to enrich the soil, and is fun to climb. (10 minutes)
  4. When everyone in the group has drawn their picture and written their comments the Facilitator asks a volunteer to collect them and post on a wall.
  5. Participants are invited to talk about their picture and the solutions presented. The Facilitator records “Similarities” and “Solutions” on two flipchart sheets. (20 – 30 minutes)



  1. To begin, the post cards are shuffled and distributed amongst the participants.
  2. Taking an issue from whatever list has previously been generated (by TEAM THINK, CLUSTER MAPPING, GENERATOR, or other means), the Facilitator asks each participant to use the card they are holding and silently consider how the picture on the card might offer a solution. (10 minutes)
  3. Participants are invited to share their pictures (posted on a wall) together with how it is similar to the problem and what solutions it suggests. The Facilitator records “Similarities” and “Solutions” on two flipchart sheets. (20 – 30 minutes)


DISCUSSION (20minutes)

  1. Ask how easy or difficult it was using a picture as a METAPHOR.
  2. If they seem keen, ask participants if they want to begin working on ACTION PLANS now.


EVALUATION (10 minutes)

  1. How did the participants feel producing METAPHORS?
  2. “Is METAPHOR effective and relevant for the use to which it is put?”



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


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