How Many Squares Do You See?

Introduction

Even with the same information, different people have often a different perception. This “How Many Squares” exercise can be done as a quick ice breaker. It also demonstrates that perceptions differ from person to person.

Objectives

  1. To understand the importance of considering the perceptions and opinions of other people.

Duration

  • 5-10 minutes

Materials

  • Newsprint paper
  • Marker

Methodology

  1. Draw a large square on a sheet of newsprint. Then divide it into smaller squares as shown here:
  2. squares

  3. Ask the participants to count the total number of squares. Write down the various answers on the newsprint.
  4. The answers are likely to differ because some people will overlook some squares. The correct answer is 35.

Some guidelines for discussion

  1. Why do answers differ from one person to another?
  2. What does this teach us about the perceptions of other people?