It’s in (Y)OUR Hands

I am starting a small personal project sharing simple (and hopefully meaningful) Reflective Practice Activities you can easily do in your language class or a training session, with another teacher as a peer professional development activity, in a reflective practice group meeting with colleagues, or even on your own. All is needed is a piece of paper and your own hand to make an outline. Here is my sample template, to show the idea.

Hands Template A4

Why write ‘It’s in (Y)Our Hands’ now? There will be as many classroom/training/reflection activities with a Hand template above as the number of days the war in my country goes on. The Russian military invasion of Ukraine started on 24 February 2022. Writing these posts and sharing some links to support Ukrainians in Ukraine and abroad is my humble way to #StandWithUkraine and to show that (y)our helping hands are needed. Read more about the project idea in this post.

Here is the list of the activities I have for now. I hope to be adding new posts and making each item an active link.

  1. Activity 1: What’s in your pocket/on your desk?
  2. Activity 2: (In/From) Different Languages
  3. Activity 3: Ask Me Five
  4. Activity 4: Being Happier Now
  5. Activity 5: A Step Outside
  6. Activity 6: An Exit Ticket
  7. Activity 7: A Promise to Self
  8. Activity 8: This Very Moment
  9. Activity 9: Hand-y Lexis
  10. Activity 10: Some Ice to Break
  11. Activity 11: Life Stages
  12. Activity 12: Five Whys
  13. Activity 13: How do you recharge?
  14. Activity 14: A Happy Moment
  15. Activity 15: Achievements
  16. Activity 16: Never Done (Yet?)
  17. Activity 17: More Metaphors, More Numbers
  18. Activity 18: Gratitude (People)
  19. Activity 19: Gratitude (Places)
  20. Activity 20: Your Roles
  21. Activity 21: Well-Done Today
  22. Activity 22: Gift to Self
  23. Activity 23: Learning of the Day
  24. Activity 24: Charge Your Devices
  25. Activity 25: Accidental Creativity
  26. Activity 26: Who Am I?
  27. Activity 27: My Own Project
  28. Activity 28: Self-Support (Resilience)
  29. Activity 29: Moments Giving Hope
  30. Activity 30: One Book
  31. Activity 31: Words of Support (Resilience)
  32. Activity 32: The Art of Quitting
  33. Activity 33: How can one help?
  34. Activity 34: ‘Handy’ Idioms
  35. Activity 35: Helpful Quotes
  36. Activity 36: Tough Questions
  37. Activity 37: Distractions
  38. Activity 38: Your Critic’s Words
  39. Activity 39: Your Favorites (or Self-Portrait)
  40. Activity 40: News Report
  41. Activity 41: Journal Topics
  42. Activity 42: Gratitude (Events)
  43. Activity 43: Gratitude (Books/Movies)
  44. Activity 44: Making Decisions
  45. Activity 45: Staying in the Flow
  46. Activity 46: No Man is an Island
  47. Activity 47: Gratitude (Mantras)
  48. Activity 48: Lifting (Y)Our Spirits
  49. Activity 49: Whose Perspectives?
  50. Activity 50: Peer Reading/Challenge
  51. Activity 51: DIY
  52. Activity 52: Your Anchors
  53. Activity 53: Favorite Questions
  54. Activity 54: Comfort Food
  55. Activity 55: Coaching Questions
  56. Activity 56: Small Wins
  57. Activity 57: What Keeps You Alive?
  58. Activity 58: Guess What’s Here
  59. Activity 59: 3D Creativity
  60. Activity 60: Reversal Questions
  61. Activity 61: Declutter Plan
  62. Activity 62: Career Flow(s)
  63. Activity 63: Collage
  64. Activity 64: Crossroads
  65. Activity 65: Types of Objectives
  66. Activity 66: Writing Off
  67. Activity 67: Guess My Color
  68. Activity 68: My Week
  69. Activity 69: Venn Diagram
  70. Activity 70: Haiku Attempt
  71. Activity 71: Needs Analysis
  72. Activity 72: Who am I Today?
  73. Activity 73: (ELT) Beliefs
  74. Activity 74: One Word
  75. Activity 75: Too Long Didn’t Read
  76. Activity 76: What’s Holding You?
  77. Activity 77: A Classroom Management Tool
  78. Activity 78: Picture Not Taken
  79. Activity 79: Instantly Reminiscing
  80. Activity 80: Shape Poem
  81. Activity 81: 6 Word Story
  82. Activity 82: Language Learning Journal
  83. Activity 83: Event of the Day
  84. Activity 84: A House on Fire
  85. Activity 85: Your Playlist
  86. Activity 86: Re (-se, -duce, -cycle)
  87. Activity 87: Energy Hubs
  88. Activity 88: Odd One Out
  89. Activity 89: Fragile
  90. Activity 90: Morning Routine(s)
  91. Activity 91: Who else am I (not)?
  92. Activity 92: Autobiography in Songs
  93. Activity 93: Meaningful Space
  94. Activity 94: A Compliment You Remember
  95. Activity 95: Firsts
  96. Activity 96: U-Turns
  97. Activity 97: (Micro-)KWL
  98. Activity 98: Choices
  99. Activity 99: Boring Facts
  100. Activity 100: Symbolic Meaning(s)
  101. Activity 101: Five Other Lives?
  102. Activity 102: The Power of One
  103. Activity 103: Inventing Rules
  104. Activity 104: A Handful (Literally!)
  105. Activity 105: Eat Something New
  106. Activity 106: A ‘Thank You’ Practice
  107. Activity 107: On Planning (to Plan)
  108. Activity 108: The Anti-You
  109. Activity 109: A Coat of Arms
  110. Activity 110: How lazy are you?
  111. Activity 111: Your (Mega-) Interview
  112. Activity 112: On Postponing
  113. Activity 113: A Punctuation Story
  114. Activity 114: Closure(s)
  115. Activity 115: Who are you jealous of?
  116. Activity 116: (Micro-) Feedback
  117. Activity 117: What’s in your name? 
  118. Activity 118: Visual Arts
  119. Activity 119: Make a Sentence
  120. Activity 120: B-Values
  121. Activity 121: (Sewing) Stitches
  122. Activity 122: (Your) Writing Genres
  123. Activity 123: (Your) Social Media Strategy?
  124. Activity 124: 360 Degree Feedback
  125. Activity 125: Create (Your) Own News
  126. Activity 126: Dream City
  127. Activity 127:

I invite you to add ideas to the list above, and offer thoughts, feedback, suggestions and insights in the comments.

Reflective Practice and Critical Thinking skills, especially in the intercultural context(s), are vital in the modern world, and the absence of them may lead to dangerous consequences.

photo of people near wooden table

Photo by fauxels on

Thank you for reading, and #StandWithUkraine!

P.S. The idea to use a hand outline as a reflection/discussion springboard in a language classroom is not mine. I first read about it in Anna Loseva’s 2017 post (by the way, if you have not read her blog, I highly recommend it as a resource for reflective and thoughtful teaching). 

P.P.S. It does not always need to be a ‘hand’ to work as a reflective practice tool. Here is a wonderful post from Wilma Luth where Lists of Five can be easily generated for various purposes. 

If you know more resources, authors, teams, or specific activities on the topic, please share/add in the comments. It would be amazing to have a full collection, one day.

2 Responses to It’s in (Y)OUR Hands

  1. Ana Costa says:

    Dear Zhenya, I came across tour blog today and I would personally like to thanks your kindness to share such great ideas and resources. I admire your resilience and Will to keep up this work under such hard conditions. I am an English teacher um Portugal and I would be very happy if I could Share ideas and resources with you and who knows, start a small projecto with out students. An informal One or an eTwinning, maybe.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Kind regards.
    Ana Costa

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zhenya says:

      Hi Ana
      Thank you for reading my blog, and for your supportive comment! Visiting your country is in my wish list, so hopefully, it will be possible in the near future.
      Are there any activities in the list that sound interesting and/or relevant for your context? Have you tried anything similar already? What kind of students are you working with? My guess (based on your eTwinning note) that they are either middle school or high school.
      Informal projects sound more possible, as I am not working with any specific group of learners at the moment (only with teachers). If you were thinking of any specific ideas, just message me directly on Facebook or Twitter (Zhenya Dnipro)
      Take care and let’s keep talking.


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