Backwards Focus

Author: Christian Byrge & Søren Hansen
Facilited by the teacher
The aim is for the students to practise their mental focus and practise breaking their existing thought patterns.
15 mins.
10-20 students.
Breakout rooms in Teams/Zoom


1. The Teacher asks the students to put the month and day of their birthday in the chat. The person closest to their own birth date is their partner. The teacher distributes the pairs in breakout rooms.

2. The teacher tells them to tell their partners about their morning up till that point. Their descriptions must be as detailed as possible (2 minutes per person).

3. The teacher instructs them to talk about their mornings, but in backwards order, e.g. from the present to when they got out of bed that morning. Their descriptions must be as detailed as possible (3 minutes per person).

4. After the exercise, the teacher asks the students if they managed to reach the stage of telling their partners about getting out of bed. The teacher asks the students to say how it felt to break from the usual way of telling others about their day:

  • Was it difficult to remember and remain focused?
  • The teacher can discuss with the students the issue of focus and attentiveness, which are essential skills when beginning the six phases of IC.


This activity helps them become aware of their personal habits and life patterns.
The activity could be done using online tools such as Padlet, a virtual whiteboard and breakout rooms in Teams/Zoom.