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Map Quest

Map Quest

Props/Prep: Yes
Time: 5 min
Audience: Any
Physical: No

Activity: This activity is great to use with a group of people who are at different places with the progress of a project or topic of discussion. It is also useful to use with groups of people that may not always agree with each other, and find different parts of the issues at hand to be of most importance to them. It is a grounding activity – philosophical. It is quick and easy and a great activity to get everyone ‘on the same page’.   

Time Requirements: 1-3 minutes

Materials needed: World map


You will need a large paper world map. Place the map on the floor in the middle of the room or group of people. Ask for a volunteer. Have the volunteer stand with you and look at the map. Ask the volunteer to tell you how to get to a specific destination of your choice i.e. Sydney, Australia. The volunteer may assume that you are traveling from wherever you currently are, but most likely they will ask you where the trip is starting from. Just redirect them to give you specific directions to your chosen destination. Most likely the volunteer will tell you they can’t because they don’t have a fixed starting point for the trip. This is what you want to happen. 

Tell the volunteer they are right, without knowing where you are starting from, it is impossible to know how to get somewhere else. Then thank the volunteer and let them sit down. Now you can make the conceptual application; in many work or life situations we are so focused on the destination, that we mess up the entire journey because we really never stopped long enough to see where we were starting from. Ask the group to discuss other conceptual applications of this illustration.      

Function in Class: This activity is great to demonstrate the usefulness of making sure that everyone understands the importance of a group working together from the same starting point. It is very conceptual, and is a great way to start a class, especially one that addresses difficult or sensitive issues. It also seems to dull the agitation of those group members who just want to get on with it and accomplish the goal without giving due diligence to the entire process.