Tools

This is our most requested online section! Here we post reliable training tools (or activities/exercises). All training tools are based on our direct education approach, rooted in popular education.

For even more tools check out our various books & manuals, which include hundreds of additional training tools.

Diversity & Anti-Oppression

Diversity Interviews

How to assist a marginalized individual or subgroup in your workshop to become integrated into the group, and also how to assist the mainstream in your workshop to learn more deeply about difference. This one is best done if you first of all experience it as a participant in a TFC workshop or with another qualified trainer.

Mainstream & Margin

We invented this in response to trainers asking us: what do you do with a group that is genuinely clueless about its racism (sexism/homophobia/ etc.)? We found it works with low-consciousness groups and has tremendous value for experienced activist groups, too.

Power Shuffle

A diversity exercise also called Step Forward/Step Back, this tool can go fairly deep considering it doesn't take much time. When placed well in a workshop, this can be a powerful exercise to help participants understand their rank and privilege or lack of it.

Walking Across the Room

This diversity exercise, also called "Crossing the Line" is geared to increase the group's awareness of difference that exists within the group as well as increase individuals awareness of their own issues with difference.

Team Building

Ankle Walk

GOAL

Puzzle Squares

GOALS:

explore issues of leadership and flow of information;
learn about team work in the context of a big picture in a kinesthetic manner.

Time
45 minutes - 1 hour
Special Materials

Medium-length pieces of rope (8 to 20 feet long, or 2.5 to 9 meters)
bandanas (pieces of cloth) to put over people's eyes [optional]

HOW IT'S DONE
Get participants in medium-sized groups (6-10 people). Explain that participants are going to be challenged to make a square with a rope. The rules are thus:

I am the center...

GOAL

Clases de Equipos

OBJETIVOS

Darles a los y las participantes una oportunidad para reflexionar acerca de sus propios comportamientos y estilos

Ayudarles a los y las participantes a trabajar conjuntamente como equipo a través de un entendimiento mutuo más profundo

Darles a los y las participantes otro “lente” para verse y trabajar entre sí.

Organizing & Strategy

Cómo facilitar “llevando un discurso en la calle”

 
Cómo facilitar charlas en público en la calle
Manejar el miedo, practicar el desarrollo del liderazgo, mejorar el marco de los argumentos en la calle— ¡una herramienta fantástica y tan poco utilizada!

Creating a Menu of Tasks

Event Planning for Leadership Development
Going through this exercise can help you identify what tasks are essential to event planning and where there is opportunity for skill-building and leadership development. Follow the questions – when done you can appropriately delegate tasks or volunteer for roles based on a sense of the big picture, as well as the opportunities for skill building.

What is the event you are planning?
What are the goals of event?

How to Facilitate Street Speaking

Handling fear, practicing leadership development, honing your framing on the streets -- a fantastic, underused tool!

Moving your Allies

This exercise is meant as a follow-up to the Spectrum of Allies exercise. We develop arguments and one specific request to move a given constituency one wedge over to our side. We then roleplay the interaction.
A follow-up to Spectrum of Allies
Description
This exercise is meant as a follow-up to the Spectrum of Allies exercise. We develop arguments and one specific request to move a given constituency one wedge over to our side. We then roleplay the interaction.
Running the exercise

Meeting Facilitation & Better Trainings

Meeting Facilitation: The No-Magic Method

Back by popular demand, Berit Lakey's "No Magic Method": guidelines that will go a long way toward helping your group to meet both joyfully and productively.

Download a copy of 'Meeting Facilitation the No-Magic Method'

By Berit Lakey
Meetings are occasions when people come together to get something done, whether it is sharing information or making decisions. They may be good, bad or indifferent.
Some of the ingredients of good meetings are:

Fishbowl: "Worst meeting ever..."

GOALS

La Pecera: "La Peor Reunión..."

- Jugar con el concepto de reunión (tranquilice a la gente sobre este tema);
- Mirar los puntos básicos para una buena reunión.

Fishbowl: "Worst Meeting Ever . . . "
Groups can love sharing stories of their worst meetings! Here participants get to act out the worst meeting ever, and then what a good meeting looks like. It's light and playful, and a great way to get into a discussion about how to make group meetings work well.

Nonviolent Action

Nonviolence Sociograms

GOALS

Quick Decisions

GOALS

Juego del Elefante

 

Objetivo

Esta simulación tiene como objetivo 

Ayudar a que los grupos examinen como funcionar cooperativamente, tomar decisiones en grupo, repartir las responsabilidades del grupo y funcionar bajo estrés. Presentar algunos elementos básicos de la acción no violenta y establece el trabajo en equipo adentro de los grupos.

 

Materiales

Dos salas grandes, una sala debe tener muchas mesas, cajas, sillas, etc.
Suficientes pañuelos para todos los participantes

Poder con sillas: tres tipos de poder

OBJETIVOS

Dar a los y las participantes una herramienta teórica para analizar los diferentes tipos de poder
Facilitar que las personas usen el “poder con los/as demás” y el “poder interior”

Third-party Nonviolent Intervention

Presence Skills Arena

GOALS increase flexibility in applying presence; develop confidence and experience in responding to a range of difficult scenarios; practice using a video camera (optional). Time 2-3 hours Special Materials Video cameras (enough for a ratio of 1 camera for every 4-5 people) Video players (some way for the group to watch the video they captured, preferably at the same ratio) [optional] Presence Skills Arena Set of Instructions (below) HOW IT'S DONE In this activity, participants get to practice presence in several different contexts (different "stations" in the "arena").

Deterrence Relay Race

Goals give participants' insight into how third-party nonviolent intervention (TPNI) operates on the ground help participants learn more theory of TPNI. Handout: Set of Cards to run the relay race Handout: Suggested Answers to the Deterrence Relay Race Time 80-120 minutes Special Materials Set of cards for the Deterrence Relay Race How It's Done This exercise is based on the idea of "relay races," although in this version there is less emphasis on "winning" and more on learning. First, break groups into at least two teams (teams should be made up of 5 to 6 players each).

Intelligence Collection Drill

Tool Materials: Sheets for Actors of Intelligence Collection Drill GOALS deepen skills for relating to local players and practicing cross-cultural sensitivity; learn techniques for information analysis; increase security sensitivity; addressing issues of leadership in decision-making processes and how that looks and feels in-the-field. TIME 2-3 hours PHASE 1: BRAINSTORM SOURCES OF INFORMATION As warm-up for this exercise, have participants brainstorm: "What are sources of information for our team in the field?" Help participants come up with a fairly comprehensive list.

Three Applications - Relay Race

Handout: More about the three applications, including stories Example Scenarios: Three Applications of Nonviolent Action Scenarios (based in US situations) Goals help participants learn the theory of three applications of nonviolent action; expose participants to how to apply that to better understanding a range of situations Time 80-120 minutes How It's Done This exercise is based on the idea of "relay races," although in this version there is less emphasis on "winning" and more on learning.

Other Tools . . .

Sustaining Self-Care: a tool for personal awareness

GOALS

Banner Making for Activists 101

by Anne Ewing In demonstrations, vigils and anywhere else you are making a public statement, banners are terrifically useful. They tell who you are and either graphically or by their presence in a place, declare your intent. They also help you get a group together in a large gathering, or focus the TV cameras, as well as catching the eye of other, related groups that may want to associate themselves with you.

The State Budget Crisis

Instructions   GOALS increased comfortability with numbers and the state budgeting process; understanding of how budgets are an expression of our values; increased confidence their own programs to defend them; and greater understanding of the tension and pressure under legislators (empathy). 1.  Create crests in new groups.  Get into three’s with people they do not know. Have them draw a household crest that represents their group.  3 minutes.   TRAINER NOTE: This creates some group buy-in.    Have people share their group crests with each other.   2.