Games for Learning │ Adjective Game

Summary: The adjective game is an effective icebreaker that helps people to introduce themselves in front of a group. It is a lot easier to learn new names by using adjectives. The Adjective Game is a great way to start a workshop. Suitable for players of age 10 and up.


Group size: 5–20 players.

Time: 15–30 minutes.

Materials: A positive attitude.

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How to play

Players are arranged so that they are standing or sitting in a circle and everyone can hear each other speak. Each person must think of a word that describes him/herself as a person. The catch is that the word must start with the first letter of their first name. For example, a participant called Chioma may choose to describe herself as ‘Cool Chioma’.

Normally the game begins with the facilitator, who is also in the circle. If Chioma was the facilitator, she would start the game by turning to the person on her left and saying loudly: “Hello! My name is Cool Chioma”. The person whom Chioma has just introduced herself to (let’s call him Seyi) must then turn to the person on his left and introduce both Chioma and himself by saying: “Hello! This is Cool Chioma and I am Strong Seyi”. The third person must then turn to the fourth and say: “Hello, this is Cool Chioma, this is Strong Seyi and I am Powerful Palmie”.

The basic idea is that everyone in the circle has to introduce him/herself to the next person in line and at the same time introduce everyone else (including their chosen adjective!) who have been introduced before him/her. This continues until all of the participants have introduced themselves. The last person in the circle then has to remember everyone’s names in order to introduce them all to the person who went first.

#3 Something higher than us

Chioma stopped coming to church, just like that. Several visits to her place revealed that she no longer stayed there. I kept going to the church and joined the technical team. The zeal of the young worshippers in the church spurred me on and life became less unbearable.

Tobi gave up on his girlfriend even after his mother reached out to her. Tobi began to complain a lot. He kept talking about the selfishness and obstinacy of girls and concluded that they were evil, after all, they follow after their matriarch, Eve.

School life was hectic with lectures, projects, and assignments. We were committed to our academics and put in our best. Exams came and went and we came out with good grades, having the best GPAs in our different departments. Tobi started dating again. I was happy for him; it was a sign, to me, that he had moved on. I encouraged him, not knowing I was leading my friend into trouble.

Tobi started keeping late nights and changed his girlfriend. At first, I didn’t object. After all, he is a grown man with rights and he could do whatever he wants. As assiduous as ever, he took his studies seriously and went to church but he changed his partners like the cloths on his body. He doesn’t think women should be given any chance. They were not worth any genuine attention. I saw the light go from his eyes.

Our Pastor preached a lengthy sermon one Sunday about life after death. He spoke about the beauties of a place called Heaven where the saints dwell, of the wonderful conversations he would have with Jesus when he got there. He spoke also of a place called Hell. His description of it gave it off as a horrible place for those who did terrible things.

Why would there be a place for people who did terrible things if we could do what we wanted? Why would such a good God, who gave up His Son to die, send his creatures to such a terrible place? Or maybe it was just a fable to make unbelievers convert. Or maybe not.

At the least likely moment, Chioma resurfaced. She was paraded on television as a member of a gang of robbers who attacked and murdered an influential politician. This girl whose passion made me a Believer is now a known and paraded criminal.

I shed tears.

12 Fun Ideas to Spice Up Your Workshop and Engage Your Audience

It is becoming quite the standard to incorporate fun ideas to spice up your workshop and engage your audience. In the past and depending on where you come from, teaching is hardly associated with fun. But all that has changed already. In this article, you will learn twelve (12) ways you can make this work.

And in case you are worried that you have not received and professional training to enable you to engage your students effectively, then this article is just for you. These fun ideas so are easy to master and implement, anyone can use them. As a matter of fact, you can start using them right now.


1. Provide Useful Information

In every workshop, learning needs are different for each participant. Learn about each participant and what their expectations are. It’s alright to ask each person to introduce themselves and reveal what they want out of the workshop. That way, you can give the most useful information first. It’s often a torment to listen to a rambling facilitator and wait for them to finally make a noteworthy point. Boring right? Get straight to the point. If people start getting value from the first minute, they will want to stay through to the end. Give as much information as you possibly can. It is becoming quite the routine to ask workshop participants to state their expectations. Veer away from the usual, make it fun and interactive.


2. Lay back a bit and let the participants lead some sessions

Attendees at a workshop are called participants when they should actually be called an audience. Most times, they listen in and take notes. Find activities that the participants can lead. These could be icebreakers, games, reading activities, flip charting or even sharing their knowledge or expertise about the subject matter. The greater the opportunities that participants have to play active roles in the workshop, the more genuine interest they will have. It might also help to engage the least excited persons in the group in such micro-leadership roles and watch them convert to true participants.

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3. Do not prepare a presentation

Workshops that have loads of Powerpoint presentations bore people to death. It doesn’t matter how interactive the presentation is if it is too long. People learn in different ways. So, a mix of many facilitation techniques will be quite helpful. Combine pictures, videos, diagrams, words, music, logic, or physical activities. Be sure to have your program planned out in advance. That way, there isn’t too much of a particular activity. If the activities were more participatory, it would provide more fun and engage more persons than if you just spoke to a presentation. A technique commonly used is flip charting whereby a different person takes responsibility for notetaking. Flipchart pages could be hung around the venue to keep key points in the minds of participants.


4. Rejig the Venue layout

The choice of venue for a workshop is one of the most important preparatory tasks to perform. A great venue has to be well-lighted and ventilated. It has to have space for sitting, standing and playing. Access to conveniences must be provided for all genders as well as nonbinary persons. Create sitting arrangements that differ from the conventional classroom layout. Ditch the arrangement in rows and try more circular arrangements to encourage flow. You can also alter the arrangement of the venue for different sessions.


5. Learning Aids are a must

Learning resources come in various shapes and sizes. To meet the needs of your audience, bring along as many learning aids as possible. These could be materials that help you make your lessons clear. Learning aids could be charts, pictorials, storyboards or just regular materials used in day to day activities but which support your lessons.

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6. Play games

Games are a must as they can serve dual purpose. First to entertain. Second, to educate.  There are numerous resources that can be employed for gaming both online and offline. A personal favorite is Kahoot which entertains and at the same time helps your workshop participants to learn. Puzzles or riddles, crosswords, memory games, ordering tasks — all are great ways to keep your attendees engaged and on-task. For added drama, impose a time limit.


7. Tell a story 

Whatever you’re teaching, try to make it relatable to everyday life by using real examples, case studies, and creative metaphors. People will sit still for hours watching a movie — why not steal some cinematic tricks?

Stories, in fact, are central to the way memory works. We search for narrative not just in media, but in everyday life. If you can find a way to integrate the information in your course into an overarching narrative, attendees will be more engaged and have something to look forward to during breaks.


8. Play Music

Play music for the duration of your class. It can really help stimulate your audience and set the right mood for the event. Music keeps your attendees from getting distracted and also adds the right amount of emotion you need during your talk. You could play a peppy number to let your attendees feel pumped and mellow it down to soothing tunes when they are busy with their tasks and discussions.


9. Take breaks in-between

Human Beings are unable to stay focused for long periods of time. To push beyond a person’s attention span is counterproductive. This implies that the longer your participants sit in class, the less they actually learn. This phenomenon is called the Law of Diminishing Returns. This is an economic law but its principles apply to most human endeavors including learning.

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It is a good practice to make each session to last a maximum of two hours. If it taking place over the course of a day, schedule in plenty of short breaks. Such breaks should present opportunities for participants to get up, walk around, and grab a cup of coffee.


10. Allow some chaos

Situations which I consider chaotic might include conflicts/arguments based on individual perceptions about the subject matter. Others are chorus responses, spontaneous questions, and interruptions. If this is well managed, participants engage freely and are glad to share what they know and are open to learn from others.


11. Make individualized relatable next steps

After all the planned activities and the workshop has come to an end. As disheartening as this may seem, it will be difficult for participants to make any good use of the knowledge learned except it is relatable to their daily lives. This is very important because, towards the end of the day, everyone is drained and tired. without a clearcut sequence of activities planned out from the time they leave that venue, the lessons might just remain lessons and nothing more. Guide the group to figure out and plan what their next steps will be and how to follow it through.


12. Provide recognition and reward

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Everyone loves that little cherry on a cake or ice cream scoop. Recognitions and awards are not equivalent to the knowledge gained in a workshop. Yet many people would have the certificate and forfeit the learning if it were possible. It is your responsibility to ensure that your participants feel rewarded for the time they have spent with you. Give them that one final motivation and watch them leave the venue with big smiles on their faces. Be on hand to take pictures too.


Did you find any of these points useful? Are there other strategies you use for making your workshops more engaging and they aren’t covered here. Please share with us in the comment section.

Casement Fellowship in Human Rights

The Roger Casement fellowship has been established to honour the memory of the Irish human rights activist Roger Casement who spent some of his early working life in Calabar, Nigeria. He was an early advocate for human rights while in Nigeria, and, famously, during his later work in the Congo, the Amazon and in Ireland. With his humanitarian legacy in mind, it has been decided to support one Nigerian student to study a master’s degree in human rights in Ireland.

Click for more information

Under the Casement fellowship, full financial support is provided for one-year full-time post-graduate education for candidates from Nigeria to undertake a one year master’s level course of study in Human Rights in Ireland. The purpose of the Irish Aid Casement Fellowship Programme is to provide talented candidates with the opportunity to pursue advanced education and professional development in Ireland in order to contribute to the future development of Nigeria.

The Irish Aid Casement Fellowship Programme normally covers: return airfares, full tuition, stipends to cover accommodation and subsistence costs, health insurance and other allowances, in addition to the necessary entry arrangements such as medical examination and visa.

All applicants who are selected to go forward to second stage will be required to sit an IELTS exam, unless they are already in possession of an IELTS certificate that is less than 12 months old at the time of application which shows the applicant has achieved the necessary score for the course they intend to apply to. Early preparation for the IELTS exam is strongly advised, even for native English speakers.

Eligible Countries: Nigeria
Eligible Courses: Masters programmes at Irish higher education institutes in the areas of Law, Human Rights and Governance.

#2. The Way Things Are Meant To Be

In the months that proceeded, Tobi traveled to his home town to see his mother. I went to church for the first time in months due to the pestering of a neighbor, Chioma. She was a lively girl and full of passion for the faith she professed.

The service was awesome; the music presentations, sermon and prayer sessions. One particular thing the preacher spoke about was the assurance of salvation by the believer as long as he was born again. This was regardless of how he lived his life or the moral choices he makes. “Just believe” he said, “… the blood always speaks for us…” It sounded loudest above everything else the preacher said. As against the puritanical background I grew up in, here was a breath of fresh air, a sweet release. I am free to act as I want. All I had to do was believe. The blood spoke for me.

I was ecstatic with this newfound doctrine and went to church services often with Chioma. I thought back on my parents’ divorce. It was one of those occasions whereby married couples decide to separate when they get tired of seeing each other. The poverty we suffered still tugs at my heart. My father was in Europe with his new family, probably having the time of his life while my mother struggled to get by every day.

Despite the poverty, I felt the new-found knowledge gave me power over my life and what happens. It resolved the guilt of writing that exam for my friend.

Tobi came back soon afterward and with bad news. His longtime girlfriend was with his child. She has insisted on having an abortion after he had begged her to keep it. He promised he would take care of them. She insisted that her body was hers and she could do whatever she wanted. Tobi explained to me that he didn’t care if she wanted to marry him or not, but since the child was his first, he wants to keep it.

I am confused again! Both of them could do as they wanted since my new-found doctrine preached that we are free to choose, but it seems to be threatening the foundation of a relationship that has stood for 7 years. I think back to my parents: after 20 years of marriage and five children, they still divorced.

Is this the way things are meant to be?