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Getting Together: Icebreakers and Group Energizers

By Lorraine L. Ukens
From Getting Together: Icebreakers and Group Energizers, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 1997, pp. 106-107

33 Hidden Hands

To give participants practice in communicating with other team members and in making group decisions while sequencing a comic strip.

Group Size
Unlimited. Participants will work in groups of three to four members each.

Time Required
Twenty to thirty minutes.

A comic strip from the Sunday paper (duplicated so each work group has a copy); one envelope for each subgroup.

Photocopy enough copies of the comic strip to provide one for each work group. Cut each strip into separate panels and place the panels in an envelope.


1. Instruct the participants to form work groups of three to four members each. Distribute one envelope containing a set of comic strip panels to each team.

2. Direct the members of each team to open the envelope, place the panels of the comic strip face down without examining them, and shuffle them around the table.

3. While the panels are on the table face down, hidden from view, members of each team take turns drawing a panel (without showing it to others), going around until all panels have been chosen. Team members are allowed to describe their own panes as fully as possible, but they are not allowed to look at the panels of the other participants or to show their panels to others.

4. When the team members have agreed on which panel is first in the cartoon, (based on the participants' descriptions of the panels), they place it face down on the table. After they have placed all the panels face down in the order they have determined, they then turn them over to see if they have sequenced the comic in the proper order.

Lead a discussion on the communication process used to describe the panels and the means by which group decisions were made. Explore ways in which members of the group could have improved the team's performance

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