Games as learning tools, designed to encourage students to consider how to engage with others (“How do I follow rules while still thinking critically about them? How do I learn when to trust someone else and when not to? How do my actions impact the group I am part of?” (Fauklingham Hunt, Kohut, Rheingold & Stratton, 2002, p. 3) to develop interpersonal skills, decision making skills and an understanding and respect for individual differences.
making connections & solving problems
toss a name/warp speed
have you ever?
A great way to emphasize the importance of knowing others’ names, of looking at them directly when having a conversation or working together.
Materials: 6 throwable soft objects and a stopwatch
Setup: Ask the class to stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder.
This activity explores dealing with changes and overcoming a series of challenges as a group.
Materials: A set of cards or poly-spots that equal the number of sutdents in the class
Set-up: Hand out cards or poly-spots to students, face-down. Say to the group: “Each of you will be given a card. Please do not turn it over until you are told to do so. Your group will be given a series of challenges. After each challenge is identified, you will have several opportunities to plan and find solutions. Your group’s goal is to execute the solution as efficiently and quickly as possible. Once you have had a chance to improve your solution, a new challenge will be presented.
Framing: A great way to build community is to show interest in others’ lives including who has traveled and where, who speaks another language, or who has more than four siblings.
Materials: Markers/chairs/poly spots
Setup: Gather the class in a circle and have chairs or spot markers at the foot of each person (not including yourself). Add a special chair or a different colour or size marker in your spot which is designated the “card-drawing spot.”
Once students have had some opportunity to get to know one another, this is a fun way to test how many names they actually do know. The object of the game is to get as many people from the other team onto their team.
Materials: A tarp or sheet
Setup: Ask two participants to hold the tarp or sheet between them. It should create a vertial barrier that can be raised/lowered easily. Divide the rest of the class into two groups, one on each side of the screen. Each group should sit on the ground.
Students will be encouraged to work together to achieve a common goal, apply effective problem-solving strategiesa nd be open to using a variety of ideas in the problem-solving process.
Materials: A piece of play rope or 9-mm rope about 6’ long (and a few extra pieces of rope for practice).
Set-up: Hand up scraps of rope (or use laces) and quickly show students how to tiean overhand knot. Once your demonstration is finished, gather all the ropes and line the class up side by side. They should all be holding hands, except for the two students in the middle of the line, who are given a rope to hold instead. Say to students: “Now we are going to tie one overhand knot as an entire class.”
This activity requires students to apply effective problem-solving strategies to accomplish grou ptasks, be open to using avariety of ideas, and implement necessary changes in order to make them work better.
Materials: Pipeline set, pylons to mark start.
Set-up: Create a zone or path that is a number of steps longer tan the numer of people in the calss. At the end of the zone, place a bucket or container. If the class is larger than 15, it is best to do this in multiple groups. tHe groups can be positioned to work side by side, or in passing format. Give each student a pipe. Give each group a series of objects.
Framing: Say to students, “You are all working for a company that is trying to produce as many items as it can. In order for the product to be ready for shipment, it must pass through the full pipeline, which ends in the final container.” Now say, “Before you being, you may practice behind the start line for five minutes. At that time, I would like you to set an aggressive but attainable goal. You will have 20 minutes to execute and meet your gola. Listen carefully to the procedures and rules of the activity before setting your goal.