Game of squares

Goals of the exercise: To be aware that there are different perceptions for the same reality and that we must present our ideas and listen to others’ ideas in an assertive and open-minded manner.
Age of the participants: 10+
Number of participants: 6 to 30
Duration of the exercise: 15 minutes
Materials: one sheet of paper with drawing of squares for each participant

Step by step

  1. The monitor delivers to each participant 1 sheet of paper with the drawing of squares.
  2. He asks each participant to count the number of squares he or she observes in the picture without commenting it with the others and to record the number in the upper right corner of the sheet.
  3. The participant have to hide the number he/she has written and wait for everyone to finish.
  4. The monitor asks each participant to indicate how many squares he or she has counted.


In the end we should inform the participants that we don’t know the exact number of squares and that this does not matter to the game we brought but that they can exploit this in a math class, for example!


There is always a disparity between the number each participant has reached and this can lead us to the first question:

  • Why do we have different numbers?
  • If this can happen in a geometric drawing with (supposedly) no space for errors, how do you think it will be when we observe more complex facts such as the relationship between people, behaviors, etc.?
  • What should our position be when we discuss a subject with others who do not agree with us?

Authorship/adaptation or source: CooLabora

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