Draw your feelings is a great check-in activity for helping people express feelings for a retrospective meeting. Drawing enables people to express their emotions. Thus, it is a good starter before the main course activity, where participants typically will write notes and verbalize things and actions for the given context.


Running the activity:

  1. Distribute sticky note notes and a sharpie for each participant.
  2. Write the following sentence on the canvas: “How do you feel?”
  3. Ask participants: “Please draw something that better expresses how you feel right now, in the context of this meeting” (consider saying vehicle, animal, object, super-hero or view instead of “something”).
  4. Ask participants to place their sticky note with the drawing on the common canvas, and, if they want, to say something about their drawing.


We have done this activity asking people to draw vehicles, animals, and objects. This activity is similar to the one word activity, but with drawings instead of words to express feelings.

The main idea behind “draw your feelings” is to express a specific emotion, feeling or situation that you can’t normally express with words. Drawing it helps people later verbalize the reason behind it.

Therefore, it is a great check-in activity, for two reasons: (1) allow the individual to first express feelings via drawings, before writing about it, and (2) make it visible about how the group is feeling before entering the main activity.


Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Ask participants to draw with pen and paper and share it in the communication tool.