I came across this video on YouTube today – and it took me back to one of the most fascinating books I know and the way in which I used this in my classroom delivery days a few years ago.
For those of you who don’t know what Zoom is, it is a wordless children’s book created by Istvan Banyai,which encourages children (and adults) to consider the world from a perspective they otherwise may not have done. Essentially the first image is an abstract red image, and as you go from page to page the picture ‘zooms’ out with a few surprises and revelations along the way.
The way I used Zoom in the classroom was to reproduce the images from Banyai’s book, with one image per card (about postcard size). I then distributed the cards, one per person – so depending on group size, you can use a reduced number of the 30 possible cards – for example if you had 12 participants you could either distribute cards 1 – 12 or cards, 1, 3, 6, 9, etc. the latter making the task potentially more challenging (as the visual cues which link each card are further apart).
You ask the participants to look at their card but NOT reveal it to anyone else. You then explain to the group that their task as a team is to get the cards into the correct order – to do this they need to circulate the room and communicate with one another about what they see on their card.
This is not a 5-minute task, it can take a while (possibly up to 30 minutes or more depending on group size), and you may need to provide prompts where a group seems stuck. I used phrases such as, ‘think about perspective’, ‘remember this activity is called Zoom, what context does that give you?’ ‘describe what you see’ etc. Without fail all groups would get there in the end.
The learning from this task is varied – it can link to topics such as communication, leadership, team building and many more. Participants are fascinated and frustrated in equal measure, and the sense of team pride on successful completion is tangible.
Have you either experienced Zoom in the classroom or used it to facilitate a team activity or meeting?
How else could Zoom be used differently to the way I have described?
What other books and games have you used in the classroom for team activities?
Join the discussion!