Flip Chart Activity – Supervisory Training Session Icebreaker

Flip Chart Activity – Supervisory Training Session Icebreaker

Getting participants to actively become involved in a learning session can sometimes be a challenge and can potentially inhibit or slow leaning opportunities.  To help overcome this obstacle, you may want to consider a creative icebreaker activity like this one in your next supervisory training session, especially if participants do not work together regularly or do not know one another.

Flip Chart Activity - Supervisory Training Session IcebreakerPrior to the arrival of your participants in a supervisory training session where you will assign them to teams and have them work as groups throughout the program, place a page of flip chart paper, several different colored markers, and some painters tape at various points in the room.

Once everyone has arrived, form equal-sized groups and assign team leaders and scribes (note-takers) in a fun, creative manner.

Have each team select a group name and draw a graphic image that represents their team name. Once the time has elapsed, ask the team leaders to display their artwork, and explain why they chose their name and image. Follow this with individual introductions.

Next, assign a project, question, or challenge related to the session topic and allow learners time to discuss it (or come to a decision/solution) depending on the task. For example, in a supervisory session on delegation skills, you might have each team discuss reasons why many supervisors and leaders do not effectively delegate and how they might change that in their organization.

Flip Chart Activity – Supervisory Training Session Icebreaker by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Brain-Based Adult Training Author

I like these types of activities early in a learning event because they provide a way to have participants get to know one another, relax a bit, and quickly become active participants in their own learning.

This type of activity can help get people immediately thinking and networking. And, it helps them recognize that you will be facilitating their learning, but not doing all the talking.

For additional ideas on creative ways to create, use, transport, and store flip charts, get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers, and Team Facilitators. FOr additional activity and game ideas, get a copy of Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People.

Use Idea Excursions to Make Learning Fun and Effective

Use Idea Excursions to Make Learning Fun and Effective

Use Idea Excursions to Make Learning Fun and Effective

Being a creative trainer and applying brain-based learning research to your training programs can be easy and fun if you just open your mind to the possibilities. Continually look for a variety of ways to introduce elements of color, sound, movement, music, props, toys, novelty, and fun into your session design.

By adding elements of fun and novelty into your learning environment, you increase the potential for engaging participants mentally while grabbing their attention. By coupling such elements with brain-based or active learning strategies enhances the overall learning environment.

Use Idea Excursions to Make Learning Fun and Effective by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Blogger

The following strategy is a simple means of beginning your creative training journey.

Take an Idea Excursion to find as many different toys and incentives as you can for all the programs you conduct. This is best done on a weekday if possible since some store types may not be open on Saturdays.

First, make a list of all the program topics that you normally facilitate.

Next, take a full day to just “window shop” by visiting different types of stores — teacher supply, art/craft, toy, discount/closeout, department, discount book, drug (chain stores), card shops, malls with science and discovery type stores and any other potentially fertile places for ideas in your area.

As you visit, REALLY look at small items such as toys, stickers, books, and incentives. Pick the items up, examine them, turn them over and really scrutinize their color, texture, and function. And, since it is more cost-effective if you can get a variety of benefits from an item and can use it in multiple programs, ask yourself at least the following four questions about each thing that you encounter:

How could I tie this item into my program content?

How have I seen other trainers or educators use similar products in their training sessions?

Can it be used in multiple ways? For example as an incentive, reward, and randomly assign participants to groups.

What audience(s) level(s) would the item appeal to most (e.g. front line, mid-level, upper management)?

Make a list or purchase those items that you feel best to serve your purpose. You’re now on your way to being a creative trainer and developing a brain-based learning environment where learners can have fun and maximize their learning potential.

For more creative strategies that can be used to enhance your learning events, get a copy of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.

Energizer Training Activity – What Do I Wear?

Energizer Training Activity – What Do I Wear?

Making learning fun while accomplishing your stated learning objectives is a good way to stimulate learning and tie into brain-based learning research on how participants learn best.

Energizer Training Activity - What Do I Wear?

By actively engaging your adult learners, you are tapping into basic tenets of adult learning (andragogy) and encouraging learners to become active participants in the information exchange process.

This activity is an easy way to encourage learner participation providing a forum for future information exchange.

Energizer Training Activity – What Do I Wear? by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Brain-Based Adult Training Author

Time:  30-45 Minutes (depending on group size)

Group Size:    24-30

Purpose:  To provide an opportunity for learners who work in the same organization to get to know one another a bit better. This activity also allows them to have a bit of fun while doing getting to know one another in sessions dealing with diversity, non-communication, team building, customer service, or other topics where relationships and understanding others is an important desired outcome.

Objectives:     Through the use of this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Get to know one another better on a more personal level.
  • Recognize that predispositions about others may create challenges in relationships.


  • At the beginning of a session, have participants form small, equal-sized groups (5-8 people) at round tables.
  • Explain that participants have been invited to a costume party.
  • They have two minutes to decide what costume they would wear.
  • Have everyone write their costume choice and nothing else on a strip of paper that you provide.
  • After everyone has written their answer, they should fold it and put it in the center of their table.
  • Instruct all participants to retrieve one strip of paper from the center of the table and one by one open it.
  • After all, participants have opened their paper and read what is written, have them introduce themselves one-by-one (e.g. who they are, where they are from, where they work, why they are attending the session, or whatever you prefer to have them disclose).
  • Following the introductions, have each person turn their paper over and write down the name of the person that they believe wrote the costume name on the other side.
  • Once everyone has done this, have them one at a timeshare who they believe the owner to be and why. 


  • Ask for a show of hands of how many people guessed correctly.
  • Ask those who guessed incorrectly, why they believe they might have done so.
  • Ask those who were correct what led them to believe the person they chose wrote their paper.
  • Hold a general discussion related to how we sometimes make assumptions about others and that can create challenges in relationships.

Materials Needed: Three-inch strips of paper.

For more ideas on engaging learners see Lucas, Robert W., Creative Learning: Activities and Games That REALLY Engage People, Jossey Bass/Pfeiffer, San Francisco, CA.