POETRY_WORKBOOK



Dialogue : Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are? was devised for use by young people and adults, to ask them to imagine life through another's eyes. Since much intolerance is formed by an inability to see the world through eyes other than our own, the players are asked to identify with, to seek to understand or imagine the feelings of the person defined by the game.

For children it would be better to provide pictures of people or to ask them to imagine that they are somebody they know, or, using examples in poems, that they are, say, a busy mum or old. Older children can play Voices.

The pack contains five types of card : Where, Gender, Relationship, Work, Emotion.
Each player receives five cards from the shuffled pack and the object is to collect one of each type of card by, in turn, discarding and picking-up as in rummy.
As players succeed, they declare their hand and leave the game, the others continuing until all are out.
On declaring, players roll a dice to determine age, this being in the decade starting with ten times the dice value - so 2 gives 20-29. Occasionally this produces an unusual combination with other cards, but there are no insoluble combinations and eccentricities help define the character.

The players look at the cards, which together give a light sketch of a character.
First they will have to reconcile the cards with each other until they have an idea of what sort of person it is, then taking the Emotion and Where cards go on to imagine what is happening to the character at the moment of the poem.
This can be written from inside or outside the character. It helps to start by imagining the place in some detail and also whatever the character is physically doing (or not).
This encourages the players to feel they are there. The reason for the emotion needs to be worked out in the context of what else is known or decided about the character.

There are obvious opportunities for card makers to arrange the balance of possibilities to suit the group they wish to work with. A worksheet set is provided, but they could be handmade by writing on half-postcards, with a dab of colour to identify the different types.
The card game could provide less or different key information, and for larger groups it would be simpler to draw slips bearing the information from seperate "hats" - some trading might be permissable, but not of gender.
Although the poems are to be about people, it is usually helpful if the "landscape" is considered early on - whether an open park or the inside of an office, trying to imagine what the subject can see not only leads to imagining thoughts, but provides details, clues to the life being described.

For further information on this sort of game click on games listed under DIALOGUE in the INDEX side bar.

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Windows Workshops Dave Calder, The Windows Project ,1997,1998,1999,2009