THE ELASTIC SWISH
The group must release the stretched out elastic circle in such a way that the elastic falls into the bucket.
If you’re looking for a team challenge that is easy to transport and very difficult for a group to have success with, this is it! Very rarely will a group actually solve this challenge - - it’s that difficult. What this activity will do is get a group to engage in dialogue and creative problem solving. Because the group will likely experience non-success, it will provide them with an opportunity to determine what non-success means to them.
LOOK OUT BELOW!
1. I’ve led this activity effectively with groups as small as 10 people and as large as 30. The great thing about this activity is people work in pairs and are somewhat independent of the other people.
2. When the activity is in full motion, there is lots of talking and things can get loud (larger groups get louder). With large groups it can feel somewhat chaotic (mostly because of the noise).
3. This is a wonderful activity to practice communication and encouragement. Every moment of this activity provides ample opportunity to practice clear and precise communication.
4. Landmines are metaphoric problems the group faces either personally or as a team. They are everywhere in life (personal & public). Some landmines are big and some are small - - they all do damage when we hit them.
5. In this exercise, there are lots of landmines separating the participants from their desired outcomes (goals).
1. In the “normal” minefield activity, I use foam disks (cut from foam noodles used at swimming pools) to designate the landmines (obstacles). For a variation, provide the group other types of landmines such as a chair, balloons filled with helium tied to weights, hoola hoops, etc.. If you add and subtract stuff at different times during the activity, it will force the group to adapt to the new environment (great discussions can be generated around this topic)
2. At the beginning of the activity before the group actually starts (but after they’ve read the instructions), warn them that a “communication breakdown” may occur during the activity. If this happens, people will not be allowed to communicate verbally. Don’t tell them how long it will last (make it last a couple of minutes at the most). This will allow people to plan (or not) for this possibility.
Common Core Standards:
SL 6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
SL 6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
SL 6.4 Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
W 6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.