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Take-off – The Versatile Paper Airplane

When I read this idea I was struck by how versatile it could be. A great way to get your group up and moving, getting to know one another, and digging into their goals or the session content. The idea is that participants create a paper aircraft. They write their name on one wing and a question or expectation on the other wing (you can tailor this to your workshop needs).  The idea was posted on the “Effective and Fun Training Techniques” LinkedIN group by Nandini Nayar Sharma.

The Take-Off

Have the group sit in any classroom formation you like. Give them each a sheet of paper and ask them to fold their sheet into a paper airplane or aircraft. Then have them write their name on one wing and on the other, they could write one question or expectation pertaining to the programme they’re attending.

Now tell the class to get their aircraft ready for take off and blow the whistle. They need to fly their planes towards each other making sure it’s not a short flight to the guy next door. It’s fun to watch the planes go all over the place crashing, lifting up high etc. Next, explain that this was a test flight and everyone needs to pick up one aircraft each again and this time the take-offs must be simultaneous. You can get them to do this 3 -5 times. Creates a bit of buzz and laughter in the room. Each person reads out the name and question on the aircraft and you get to the who’s who.

As a trainer you can either manage the expectations through this activity or get the aircraft fixed on the walls with blutack, informing the class that we will come back to base (the wall) during and at the end of the workshop and answer the questions asked. This helps review the learning and how well the participants have absorbed concepts etc.

Another “take” on the Take-Off exercise would be to have folks write reinforcement questions on the second wing.  When participants pick up an aircraft they can read off the name, question, and give their answer.  If they can answer correctly, they get a point; or they can hand it off to the group for a discussion.  

1 thought on “Take-off – The Versatile Paper Airplane”

  1. Amar says:

    Excellent idea and innovative activity for expectation mapping and learning enforcement!

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