Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saving Sam: A Team-Building Activity

In these early weeks of school, it's so important to enforce the idea of teamwork among your classroom. I feel that if you have a classroom that functions as a community, everything runs more smoothly. 

My teacher and I discussed the importance of team-building exercises among the students this week. She told me that she loves to incorporate them into the classroom and that they usually produce wonderful results! I was more than excited to see it with my own eyes.

For our team-building exercise, we "saved Sam". ( idea found on Pinterest)




You will need:
Gummy worms (Sam)
Life-saver Gummies (Life vests)
Clear plastic cup (Boat)
Cocktail stirrers (Oar)
Paper clips

Poor Sam is a worm that has found himself in a rather unfortunate situation. His boat has capsized and his life jacket is trapper underneath it! Poor Sam can't swim! His oar, his only means of movement, has fallen into the rocky waters as well! He now sits perched on top of his capsized boat and he needs our help!



It is the students job to SAVE SAM! they will be responsible for flipping Sam's boat over and getting him back inside. He needs his life jacket ON him this time, and his oar laying horizontally across the top of his boat. 



Here's the catch: You can't touch Sam with your hands. You may only use the two paperclips supplied. Keep in mind we wouldn't want to hurt poor sam by stabbing him or popping his life jacket by stabbing it! Also, we cant let him touch the water (the floor or desk) because he can't swim!

It was so enjoyable to watch the students problem solve! Our little engineers were hard at work. It was interesting to see how they utilized the materials given. Some bent the paperclips into tweezers, while others snapped them in half to create more tools.



This fun exercise really got our students excited to work together. I loved seeing their wheels turn as they asked "are you sure this is possible?". I loved seeing the proud looks on their face when they figured it out!


23 comments:

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  2. I love this idea, but can you elaborate a little more on the rules? Can they touch the "oar" and "boat" with their hands? Also, can Sam go in the "water" if he has his life vest on? Just a little more clarification would be awesome. Thanks for a great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For my class, I allowed them to touch the boats and the oar with their hands! Of course that is certainly open to interpretation depending on your grade level. Sam can indeed go in the water with his life vest on, however he would much rather be in the boat. After all, he is a worm. ;)

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  3. Team building activities are stimulating problem-solving tasks designed to help group members develop their capacity to work effectively together. Many team building and initiative tasks are like kids games, others are novel, complex tasks and designed for specific needs. More elaborate initiative tasks can involve ropes courses, night-time activities, and exercises lasting over several days.

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  11. I was looking for a quick, but fun, activity for a small group ice breaker at work designed around goal achievement. With this you can see what the goal is (Saving Sam), collaboration and strategizing to Save Sam, and how all the pieces (Cup, paper clips, life saver, oar) fit together to Save Sam.

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  12. How many students do you put in a group?

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