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LifeSkills Handbook Activity 17

This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions altogether. The handbook is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable storybooks, books and posters to help you in your work.

LifeSkills Handbook Activity 17
Communication: Drawing Together

Purpose of activity

  • To experience and reflect upon communication and mutual understanding
  • To identify positive and negative ways of communicating
  • To improve communications skills

Life skills: Communication & interpersonal relationships, self-awareness, critical thinking

Important points

This activity helps children look at how they work with others. Encourage the group to think deeply about what happened when they were drawing.


  • Large sheets of paper for whole group

  • Marker pens of crayons for half the group

  • Sticky-tape


  1. Divide the children into pairs and give each pair a large sheet of paper and a marker pen or crayon.
  2. Ask each pair to sit at a table or on the floor. Then tell them to hold the marker pen or crayon together and without talking draw on their large sheet of paper:
    • A house
    • A place of worship (temple, mosque, church etc.)
    • Happiness
  3. When they have finished, and still without talking, ask them to score their own picture by writing a mark out of ten. Only talk when everyone has finished the drawing.
  4. When the pairs have finished, each pair presents the picture to whole group and explains how they drew their picture.

Discussion ideas

  • Some children will have used sign language using their free hand or their heads. This shows the importance of body language.
  • When the children had different ideas about the picture, one child had to lead and the other to follow. If that does not happen, they can end up tearing the paper and with no picture. They might have taken it in turns to take the lead or maybe only one child made the decisions. Does this mean the non-leading partner needs to be more assertive? Or maybe they recognised the other child had a clear vision which was worth following.
  • They needed to be very sensitive to each other’s movements, otherwise all the lines would have been very unclear.
  • Although it was difficult, when the picture succeeded, this happened because they worked together well on a common task. They were communicating to succeed.
  • They probably found it easiest to draw the house, more difficult to draw the temple and most difficult to draw happiness. It is easier to reach agreement on concrete things and not so easy to agree on abstract things like values and concepts.

Final discussion:

  • How did you communicate while drawing?
  • What happened when you had different ideas?
  • How did you reach agreement without speaking?
  • Which was the easiest to draw? The most difficult? Why?

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