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The Shadow Show Activity

The activity starts by grouping participants in teams. Each team randomly picks 2 subjects out of the 16 Agile Manifesto values and principles. (4 values + 12 principles)

The team selects, at their discretion, one of the two subjects to put up a shadow show where other teams will guess the subject.

Teams are provided with tools and materials to build their shadow puppets: paper, cardboard, scissors, glue, sticky tape, little sticks… The teams are allocated a 5-minutes timeslot to prepare the show.

How to run the shows? Use a video projector to display a white background and let the teams take turn to roll out their shows! The teams must abide to the following rules: — no speaking — sound effects and animal noises are allowed — puppets can move — puppets can be made by simply moving the hands, cardboard is not mandatory.

Each team has also been handed out a full copy of the Agile Manifesto values and principles: the first team to guess which one matches the shadow show earns 1 point! But be careful, each team only has one guess per show! As for the team putting up the show, they also earn 1 point if their subject has been guessed!


First of all, you need a good ol’ video projector which is usually found in most of the meeting rooms.

As you’ll want a proper white background during the shows, just prepare in advance an empty slide. I went a little further by reminding the goal of the activity on top of the slide: Which Agile Manifesto value or pinciple? Obviously, this sentence depends on the theme of the subjects that must be guessed.

A white background for the shadow shows. This works with Goodle Slides, too.

Then you’ll need stuff to craft the shadow puppets: sticks, paper, cardboard, strings…

Stuff available for the teams in a corner of the room. Grabbing too many stuff to take it away from the other teams, that’s also how you play this game!

Finally you’ll need many tools to form and put together the shadow puppets: scissors, knifes, glue, sticky tape, staples, paper clips, rulers…

Do not hesitate to gather as much tools as possible by borrowing them. Providing each team with a pair of scissors would be the absolute minimum!

Plenty of scissors and knifes for everybody… But some of them are much easier to handle and will get a better job done!

I forgot to mention the obvious things: such an activity requires chairs and tables! Thus the typical meeting room will be the perfect place.


So now that all the physical stuff has been taken care of, we need to prepare the subjects for the guessing game. The theme we chose was the Agile Manifesto: guess its 4 values and its 12 principles.

I printed them on paper sheets, folded the sheets and put them in a bag. Ready to be drawn randomly!

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