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Inclusive Participation: Customized Workbooks

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Imagine a 2-day staff retreat for 22 people filled with engaging activities tailored for diverse learners that not only keep people’s attention but also spark meaningful conversations. One activity I am particularly fond of is the 36-page hand-drawn workbook I crafted to align with the retreat’s agenda and serve as a canvas for drawing, reflection and note-taking. 

For each segment of the retreat, I drew a page including specific activities with prompts, general reflection questions, space for drawing, and a reiteration of the themes of the retreat.

One secret for keeping attention was that I distributed the workbook pages one at a time – just at the beginning of the corresponding activity. Participants shared this was a very helpful method to prevent overwhelm and create excitement for anticipating what was next. 

This visual component captivated all kinds of learners and temperaments – introverts appreciated a different way to engage; folks with ADHD were appreciative of the focus point since long meetings are usually hard for them; and just about everyone appreciated the color!

“I enjoyed the formats… it kept engagement going and kept my attention.”
“I appreciated the different entryways for learning styles and sensory needs.”
“The workbook was great and really easy to follow. I loved it!”

The surprise at the end was when participants held their completed workbook and beamed with pride for how much we had accomplished in just two days!

Yay!

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