Rollercoaster Check-In

This playful method creates a powerful shared picture of the feelings in the group. Checking-in is a simple way for a team to start a meeting, workshop, or activity. By using the metaphor of a rollercoaster this alternative version supports participants to think differently about how they are feeling. People place themselves at different points on the rollercoaster, explaining their dominant feeling right now.

  1.  1:

    Gather the group in a horseshoe around a flipchart/whiteboard. Explain the purpose of a check-in if necessary, that it’s an important tool to take the group’s emotional temperature, to uncover any fears, concerns, or needs. Explain that this is a method to explore the whole group’s feelings in a playful and visual way.

    In certain cases some participants may choose not to check-in. Make sure that everyone is given the opportunity to check-in but if some choose not to, simply check with them after the session to see if there are any issues that might need to be addressed.

  2.  2:

    Draw a wavy line across the entire flipchart/whiteboard that resembles a basic rollercoaster with loops, steep sections, and shallow sections.

  3.  3:

    Explain that we are going to draw ourselves on the rollercoaster, depicting how we feel right now, then share that feeling with the group. We’ll do this one-by-one, either in order around the horseshoe or at random.

  4.  4:

    Give each participant as much time as you think is necessary and practical. It can be as little as one word, or as much as 5-10 minutes.

  5.  5:

    When everyone has checked-in, if there is time then look at the rollercoaster as a whole group and share/discuss any thoughts that emerge.