Training Tips

The Paper Bag game

Here’s an energetic and creative way to end a day of process or product related learning.  I’ve used a software example to illustrate it – but it will work just as well if you are teaching selling skills, product knowledge, interpersonal skills, technical knowledge – or just about anything!

 You need:

  • Stack of large brown paper bags
  • Clip Art

How it works:

Imagine that you have just completed a day teaching PowerPoint.  At the close of the training, you want to ensure that your learners have mastered the skills you’ve taught them, and that they can approach their PowerPoint tasks in the workplace with some ingenuity.  This is where the Paper Bag Game comes in.

  • Prepare for the activity by deciding on the process or products that you wish to review. Eg Cropping and altering clip art; using shapes creatively; animating a slide show.  Find pictures in your clipart collection, which illustrate these processes, print them and stick them on to the paper bags – and add a title if necessary so that the learners are clear about the topic they will be investigating.
  • Divide up your learners into teams and give each team a paper bag. Their task is to fill the bag with ideas, tips, materials, samples, instructions – anything and everything, in fact, that may be relevant – relating to that topic.  For these topics, they would draw material largely from their computers – but encourage the learners to write their own tips, use manuals, collect objects from the classroom and its surroundings, which will help to make the points come across.  Set a limited time for this part of the activity.  10-15 minutes should be enough.
  • Now ask each team to review the items that they have collected and to prepare a short presentation using each item. They can be as creative as they wish – do a demonstration using the items, build a model, make a display of the items on a table or flipchart – whatever works best.

You’ll find that the end result of this activity is a deep understanding of the points covered – and an enthusiastic readiness to go back to the workplace and try out their new learning