At a conference, I recently took part in The Blanket exercise. It was the first Blanket Exercise for some, and for myself and others it was not. It is interesting how the experiences were different for each person. This exercise was sped up and simplified to illustrate that it could be appropriate for younger French language learners.
It is clearly visible that participants of the Blanket Exercise experience the “… crisis…a state of emotional discomfort and disorientation that calls on the students [participants] to make some change.” (Kumashiro p. 30)
The Blanket Exercise concludes with a sharing circle. My latest experience asked participants share how they were feeling in only one word for time considerations. The words shared ranged from feelings of shame, guilt, and embarrassment to reflective, hopeful, and optimistic. Concluding with a Sharing Circle gave participants the opportunity for the participants who, “were in crisis… on the verge of some shift and require the opportunity to work through their emotions and disorientation.” as Kumashiro suggests. (p. 30)
I feel that The Blanket Exercise is such a meaningful starting point for journeying toward and understanding reconciliation.
Kumashiro, K. (2009). Against Common Sense. New York: Routledge.