Blanket Exercise – Scripts, Scrolls, Suggestions

This past year at UVic, we used a version of the Kairos Blanket Exercise with the first year law school class.  We did this as a required element of our Legal Process Course, as part of our work of responding to the the Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action.  For some reflections on my own experiences with this exercise, follow these links:

.In this post, I attach a copy of the script as we used it, along with some notes on the challenges of actually doing the exercise. By that, I mean the concrete, practical questions related to the space, facilitators, training people, food, acoustics and number of blankets. Those considerations are the real practical guts of what it takes in order to run this exercise.

With respect to our use of this embodied pedagogy at the law school, here are three documents:

  1.  THE SCRIPT – Script 2017 Attached here is the version of the Blanket Exercise that we did at the law school.  This is a version that begins with the structure of the KAIROS exercise, but which has been through a number of modifications.   We drew heavily on Hadley Friedland’s adaptation of the original script which includes significantly more legal content, including specific cases and pieces of legislation.  It also usefully draws a number of “Legal Issues” into the structure of the exercise, creating a script that targets legal education.  We also drew on adaptations to the script made by Ardith Walkem and the CLE BC people who had focused the text to emphasize aspects of British Columbia’s particular colonial history.   Drawing on these sets of modifications, we had a text that focused both on the law and on British Columbia.
  2. THE POWERPOINT – Scrolls and Legal Issues    We debated whether or not to also use powerpoint to project the words of the scrolls (being read by the participants).  Lots of good reasons to do it and not to do it.
  3. SET UP & STRUCTURE – 2017 Oct – Blanket Exercise Memo on setup and implementation  This is a set of draft notes about how we tried to set up the exercise, working with a group of 120-140 people.  Feel free to add, modify, or extend the thoughts here.

A final note here is that one route if you are interested in the Blanket Exercise is to get in touch with the folks at KAIROS.  Check out the Kairos website for useful information about working with their original script, accessing trained facilitators, and building ongoing educational partnerships.


Author: Rebecca Johnson

I teach Law at the University of Victoria.

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