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Book of life

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Coloured paper
Crafty material This might include stickers, glue, scissors, glitter, ribbons, string, tape, etc.
2 Separate rooms

Nutritional information


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Book of life

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. — Joseph Campbell

  • 2 hours
  • Serves 15
  • Medium



What chapter in life are you currently in?

If your life was a book, what chapter would you currently be in? Would you be in the first part of the book, the call to adventure, where chapters focus on the description of your ordinary world, the rise of conflict that calls you to adventure…? Or would you be in the second part of the book, where chapters explore the beginning of your journey, the meeting with a mentor or helper, and the numerous tests, allies, and enemies you will both encounter? Perhaps you would find yourself in third part of the book, the one dedicated transformation of the hero when their greatest fear is exposed and they have to die to be reborn into a new life? Maybe you would be on your way back, returning home after some great adventure… Whichever chapter you find yourself in, it can be helpful to share it with others, so that they know which stage of life you are in, which challenges you are addressing, which opportunities you are exploring, which talents you are harnessing…

The following exercise is a creative individual and group activity that works well at the beginning of a group formation (be it in a team, organisation, community, or event) because it allows participants to share a bit about who they are in a profound and meaningful manner. The guidelines have been adapted from experiencing this activity during the “Exploring a Culture of Pace through Personal Change and Wellbeing” offered by Alive Peace in Leysin (Switzerland) in October 2018.

*Image © ChangemakerXchange / Sylvia Kouveli Photography



Creating your own page

Divide participants into two groups and invite them to occupy two separate rooms. In both rooms, lay out all the material and invite participants to take 30-45 minutes by themselves to create their own book of life with a title that represents where they are in their life at the moment. This part of the activity should be done individually and in silence.


Setting up the museum

Invite both groups to create a museum with all their book covers so that the other group gets to experience their life stories. Invite them to be creative: they can choose a particular layout and order of books, they can play music, they can move furniture around... Let them express their creativity in crafting a sensorial experience for the other group.


Visiting the museum

The two groups now visit each other's museum at the same time and after a while, ask one of the two groups to pick a book cover (the other group only picks a book mentally, not physically). The two groups reunite and invite participants holding book covers to find their authors.


Interviewing the author

Once the pairs have formed, they get to "interview" the author of the book, asking questions that emerge naturally. This is not a dialogue, it's an interview for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes are up, ask the second group to find the authors of the book cover they had chosen, and proceed with the second round of interviews.


Group sharing

Once the interviews have been completed, gather everyone in a big circle and let them share a little bit about their experience throughout the activity, from designing their book cover, through setting up the museum, to interviewing and being interviewed. If the group wants, you can suggest hanging all the book covers someone around the workshop room.

Greta Rossi

Chief Empathy Officer at Akasha Innovation. Co-founder of ImpactAimers and Recipes for Wellbeing. Regional Coordinator for Ashoka's ChangemakerXchange. Youth coach and FRSA.

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