History Map

Closing, Debrief, Review

Collaboration, Discuss challenges, Intragroup openness, Team – building, Team – work

Active listening, Communication, Empathy, Evaluation, Introspection, Self-reflection

Up to 60 min, 60-120 min

6-15 persons, 16 – 30 persons, More than 30 persons




The main purpose of this activity is to remind and reflect on what group members or participants have been through and to create a collective experience and shared story. Every individual will gain a shared idea of what the group has been through together. Use this exercise at the end of a project or program as a way to reinforce learnings, celebrate highlights and create closure.

Necessary tools (what you need)

  • Recording device to be agreed prior to the activity


  1. Draw a timeline representing the period of a project or team experience in the online whiteboard and invite participants to add to it throughout the exercise. Include dates and a few key events, but not more. Draw the timeline
  2. Ask participants to draw in elements of their experiences.They can include their highlights and lowlights of the journey, as well as insights, emotional highs and lows, challenges, successes, frustrations, stories and surprises, situations, learnings, and anything else that meant something. An alternative is to do this step using images which you might prepare in advance or participants can use their own if possible. Put on music while participants to this. Give enough time that the timeline becomes as full as possible (about 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the group and length of the timeline)
  3. After the map has been created, ask participants to take a virtual walk around the map (or simply have a closer look), reflecting in silence on the experiences they have shared. Ask them to begin thinking about the most important moments for them, individually. Give about 5-10 minutes for this step
  4. Finally, have participants one-by-one place a symbolic image or company logo while sharing (a GIF or meme might also work) that has been the most important to them.After placing the logo, they briefly describe the moment and its significance. Continue until all participants have placed their logo or gif and shared.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you’re not using an online whiteboard, we recommend using a collaboration tool such as Google Docs to collect the information for each step under a separate heading. Invite everyone into the document to share their ideas but be very clear in regards to editing rights.
  • When facilitating group discussion, we would recommend that participants use non-verbal means to indicate they would like to speak. You can use tools like Zoom’s nonverbal feedback tools, a reaction emoji, or just have people put their hands up. The facilitator can then invite that person to talk.

The exercise is successfully completed when? Conclusion?