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Amanda Beattie • August 16, 2022

Exploratory Workshops: Think, Talk, Make!

The motivation for these Exploratory Workshops is to create a dynamic, creative, vigorous and interactive environment for our students from day one. This module provides a list and description of various workshops and activities that can be used for students to get to know each other in inspiring ways that also develop skills such as team work, critical analysis, comparing and contrasting, debating, formulating an opinion and an argument, and thinking outside of the box. These activities can be used as “ice breakers” on the first day of class as a way to encourage students to get to know each other and work together. They can also be used throughout the semester to encourage an active and creative environment in the classroom. Each workshop or activity is accompanied by a “how to” description, outlining the steps to follow. The activities can be used as described, or modified in any way the teacher or students see fit. 

The workshops vary in form and content, and involve various communication strategies including thinking (always!), writing, discussing, drawing, or making. The ten workshops include:

  1. Introductory interview with a twist;
  2. Communal collage;
  3. Group visual analysis;
  4. Comparative group visual analysis;
  5. Exquisite corpse drawing;
  6. Consequences;
  7. Broken Tele/Vision;
  8. Collective poem;
  9. Debate;
  10. TASK activity.

Each workshop comes with a description and examples. 

About the author

Amanda Beattie teaches Art History at Dawson College and works as an Educator and Project Manager at the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art. Amanda is interested in making art accessible and engaging to all publics, and to empower people in their understanding and appreciation of art in all of its forms through interactive discussions, debates and active viewing. 


Title inspired by Rachel Echenberg’s public art activity, "Pile, Touch, Yell, Cocoon", at the PHI Foundation in the summer of 2021.

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