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The Talent game

Type of tool: 
90-120 min
Topics addressed: 
Personal development

Discovering talents brings people to the fullest of their passions and abilities, then they are fine and have fun! It is essential to bring out hidden, asleep or suffocated talents; once you find it, you can change perspectives for your future.


The tool aims to promote the discovery of one's talent through play, exploration and share with other people. To explore one's desires, one's passions, capacity to favor the employment opportunities of young people. It is also a tool for youth workers to support young people find a starting point for building a personal and / or professional growth path. It focuses on the way in which trainers in the first place can find their talent and consequently help young people find theirs. Through a playful and highly creative activity we get to reflect on the concepts of talent, ability and passion, increasing our self-esteem and awareness. The starting point and initial inspiration are the publication of the educator Ken Robinson, famous for his books, his TED talks and his motivating and inspirational concepts. According to Ken Robinson "the element" is the point where personal passions and natural talents meet. When people find their elements, they increase self awareness at the height of their effectiveness and satisfaction. Other useful references in the debriefing phase are Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory and Daniel Coyle's "Little Talent Manual".


The activity will focus a lot on experiential learning and on the application of non-formal methodologies and practices. The participants will be the protagonists, starting from the assumption that the situations of greatest impact are those that we live with all our senses, those in which we live emotions, interact with others and have fun. Each participant will have the opportunity to experiment as an individual in relation to the other members of the group, and to learn through a Learning by Doing process. The working method is therefore practical, playful and interactive. With action-learning we learn from experience, through action and reflection on ourselves.

Step by step process: 

1. Facilitator has to be aware that everyone has personal talents, passions and abilities, everyone has their own "intelligence" and "learning style".
2. Preparation of space:
- a room obstacles free, laptop and speaker audio.
- plastic bottle has to be hidden in the room (one bottle per participant, but they don't know it)
3. Preparation activity (20-25 min):
- every participant must find a plastic bottle in the room: put some tension as a competition or final reward;
- everyone looking for plastic bottle in the room, if participants find more than one, they can share, give suggestions and support others (for debriefing: sometimes other people show us our talents, sometimes is simple to find other people's talents).
- sit in a circle, everyone with their bottle; a box with poor materials is located in the centre.
- 10/15 minutes to decorate their own bottle to be precious and customize;
- they can put inside little objects (seeds, beans ...), color it, put color papers, cords, wools, bows...
4. Movement activity (30-45 min.):
- start of movement phase: silent and with background music (we suggest music without words); participants move in the space with their bottle, they discover it, protect it, show it, play with it and have fun;
- they put on the floor and look it from different positions, they move away from it and come back. Everyone dance in the space paying attention to not beat the bottle on the floor;
- meeting between participants, they cross and interact, they look each other and the bottles, they compare their bottles...
- they challenge other participants using the bottles; they play and dance in pairs, they paly and dance without hands, they play and dance in trios. They cooperate and find the balance in the group everytime using the bottle.
5. Crossing the space individually (almeno 2 volte: 15-20 min):
- participants make a line, everyone has to cross diagonally the room with their bottle, when they arrive in the centre of the room(stage), they have to stop and create eye contact with all the participants in line(audiance), and without using words, they make a movement, a litlle performance that represent them with the bottle(they can also choose to do nothing after the eye contact). When done, it's not finish yet, they must end the diagonal cross of the room, arriving to the facilitator, that has to wait and welcome everyone. (every way of expression are welcome and encourage)
6. Debriefing (20-30 min):
in a circle we share the experience, focusing in all phases; facilitator could prepare a list of guided questions to promote the discussion and sharing. The group reflect on metaphoric parallelism between bottles and talents; what you find out and customize is your talent. (cfr: Multiple intelligence by Howard Gardner, The Element by Ken Robinson...)
Some usefull tips for discussion: talent has to be discover, find out and identify. Everyone has different timing, someone has to be supported, sometimes is easiest to find the other talents; how you deal with it? how did you feel when you find it or when you didn't find it? and when you customize it? how did you take care about it? how did you interact with others? did you cooperate? did you fight? did you help each other?
Facilitator has to observe and active listen all the process and could take note of the debriefing on a flipchart.

Materials and resources: 

- laptop. speaker and cables needed for sound;
- plastic bottle (recycled) one per participant;
- poor materials like materiale povero di recupero tipo beads, seeds, balls of wool, adhesive paper, indelible markers, cords, bows, colored paper...
- scissors, glow for materials, tape...
- pens and papers for final debriefing;
- 1 facilitator to lead all the phases of the activity and to drive the debriefing and evaluation.


Young people increase awareness that everyone has one or more talents. They reflect on the factors facilitating talent's discovery and expression, and they analyze possible future work tracks to build personal and professional growth plans.


Accurate management of time and space; not obliging the participants to do extraordinary things, leaving free the level and the way of participation / interaction with others; choice of music; active listening during the entire duration of the activity; careful debriefing with reference to the concepts of Ken Robinson's The Element and Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence theory.

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