Drawing Without Lifting the Pen


Setting goals and making work plans are important before starting an activity. Especially when working in groups (such as an FFS or a club) participatory planning can be very useful to get better results. This exercise on “Drawing Without lifting the Pen” is designed to show the importance of planning and cooperation between group members. It can be used as a starting point for sessions on planning, problem solving, leadership or group work.


  1. To show the importance of good planning.
  2. To show the importance of cooperation among group members.


  • 30 minutes


  • Newsprint
  • Markers
  • Whistle


  1. Group the participants into 5 smaller groups.
  2. Instruct them not to talk.
  3. Then explain that, within 3 or 4 minutes, they should draw a farmer without lifting the pen/marker of the paper. Give a small demonstration on how to do this. Each participant will have 20 seconds to do a part of the drawing.
  4. After giving these instructions, start the game. Blow the whistle every 20 seconds to change to the next person.
  5. After completing this first drawing ask the group to discuss for 5 minutes and to make a planning for a new drawing.
  6. Start the game again and let each group complete the second drawing.
  7. Evaluate the two drawings of each group.

Some guidelines for discussion

  1. How did the first drawing look?
  2. How did the second drawing look?
  3. What was the difference and why is this so?
  4. How did you plan your second drawing?
  5. What attitudes or behavior did each group member show?
  6. Are you happy with the result of the first drawing? And the second drawing?
  7. What is the reason for the success of the second drawing?
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