Industry, Debt & Trade

Programme Idea 5

5.Getting it together

Allow 20 minutes
This can be played by five people, with the rest watching. Alternatively the game leader can prepare enough material for the whole group for example groups of five.

You will need:

  • Enough stiff card for five six inch squares.
  • Five envelopes.

Preparation (for one group)

  • Rule five squares from a piece of card or stiff paper. (12cm or six inch square would be a suitable size.)
  • Rule each square into a pattern (Download 5k pdf file) and mark each shape with the appropriate letter.

(N.B. measurements should be made as accurately as possible).

  • Cut out the shapes, and sort them into sets of the same letter. Put each set in an envelope marked with the same letter.


  • form a group or groups.
  • Read out or write up the following instructions. 'On the starting signal - open your envelopes and take out the contents.'

The exercise will continue until each person has a square.

You may pass a piece of card to another member, but you may NOT reach out and take one.

No talking or any other kind of communication is allowed.

You may at any time decline to take any further part.


Usually at least one square is formed, which is not one of those illustrated. This will hold the group up until the person concerned dismantles it.

What happened?

  • Encourage group members to communicate their feelings.
  • What does this exercise say about sharing and aid (the difference between real insightful generosity and merely discarding something?)
  • Was the initial reaction to try and get your own square? What does this say about the way we operate in life (that is the way we aim first for security and a firm base to work from. This may seem sensible at the time but it makes subsequent cooperation more difficult.)
  • Can the group see any links between this ,game' and the way we trade with other countries?
Taken from 'It's not Fair', Christian Aid


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