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Dynamic Team work Activities for Sixth Formers (or year 11)

Updated: Jun 16

I started to teach part-time in a college and I was given a group who were just about to start a module on team work.  I had not taught this as a discrete subject before (only used it as activities in other lessons) so saw this as a fresh challenge. I carried out lots of research into potential team working activities that fitted the spec and the brief that I had been given. Six weeks later the module ended and I thought I would share some thoughts on how the activities went. There are lots of free downloads on this blog.


Notes

  • There were no prizes, the incentive was always just to be a successful team. The students made up their own imaginary prizes such as a BMW M5 for the winner of the scavenger hunt etc.

  • This was a group of year 12 learners

  • In between activities I explained the theories of team working

  • Each session was 3 hours a week

  • Students agreed their own rules for each activity

  • Levels of engagement increased as the weeks went on and they started to "expect the unexpected"


BALLOON ARCH

I bought two packs that made balloon arches and took them into the lesson.  Instructions were to produce the arch in the shortest time. A fun ice breaking activity but became problematic when we had to get rid of the balloons at the end.  Teams were given freedom to problem solve and had to quickly improve their communication to get the arch completed. At the start they established their own guidelines.


This suited the creative students who were very goal orientated and wanted to get the project finished.


SPAGHETTI AND MARSHMALLOW TOWERS

This wasn’t as successful as I was hoping but it turned out students had done this activity during induction. What did come out of it was that groups naturally split into those that “do” and those that prefer to just “advise” content to instruct from the side lines. This activity suited the kinaesthetic learners.









LINING PAPER AND BIG PENS

This went well and the theme was the importance of team working in a business, so had a nice bonus of linking theory with the activity.

Lining paper was from B&Q at a cost of £1. The challenge was for students to research the information and present to the whole class at the end.   This activity suited the more academic and creative learners.


PICTURE QUIZZES

This was the most successful activity and gave the best results by far. There was a good buzz in the room and students in small teams were able to all engage and participate. This activity suited the students who had a good general knowledge base and visual learners (like myself).



EXCEL CHALLENGES

Students were given worksheets and a series of activities to complete as a team, using the Excel spreadsheet program. These were very challenging and students found this to be a steep learning curve.  This activity suited the students that were more skilled in IT and were prepared to experiment with the software to achieve the result.



SCAVENGER SELFIE HUNT


I was lucky enough to run this on a dry day when I could send the students into town to complete the hunt. Our college is in the town centre and I was delighted when I got the green light to run the activity. I stayed nearby in case of an emergency but teams were left to their own devices, and clear leaders emerged.


I had prepared a sheet which had some local places to go and some selfie instructions.  Photocopies of the sheets went into students' team working folder. This suited the students who liked to be out and about and taking part in competitive team games.




Finally there was some paperwork to complete:



Teamworking workbook 1
.docx
Download DOCX • 722KB


Teamworking workbook 2
.docx
Download DOCX • 141KB

 

IDEAS I ALSO CONSIDERED BUT REJECTED:

1)     Group story, not the right group for this activity, I wanted more dynamic team activities suitable for sixth formers.


2)     Taboo, rejected due to room layout.


3)     Pictionary, rejected but still on the maybe pile.


4)     Chinese Whispers, rejected as it didn't really encourage team work or co-operation, more useful when teaching communication barriers.


5)     I went shopping, the old game where the first student says "I went shopping and bought an apple ipad", the next student then adds an item to this list until the student at the end has to name 20 or 30 items. Rejected as this is more of a memory game and I could not see the team work element.


6)     Cups turn up turn down, one team has to turn them up, one team has to turn them down.  Timed activity most up or down at the end of the time wins. Rejected due to lack of suitable space.


7)     Pitching a business idea in teams based on an unseen item, good activity but I reserve this for taster days. Needs a lot of prep - buying items and wrapping them up.


8)     Jigsaw puzzles: The idea was to split the class into two bigger groups and give each a puzzle, first team to finish wins. I wasn't sure how successful this would be so I put it on the maybe pile. Jigsaws are not for everyone and I wanted 100% engagement from all students, so I thought this was too risky.


9)     Run and ask: The team has to draw a picture and one team member looks at the picture on the teacher’s desk for 10 seconds then has to describe it to their team mates. I only had a computer room so this was rejected due to the nuts and bolts of how it would work. I had visions of six foot 3 students crashing into computer monitors.


10)  Music intros team quiz: I decided that my music knowledge wasn't up to this, so I spared the class this activity.


11)  Lift a cup up using string: The idea is to stack a group of 5 cups, something I saw on social media but I didn't get time to try, was on my maybe pile, but again in a computer room would have been hard to organise. I took the string and the cups in and had it as a back up.


12)  Building boats from paper: In small teams of 3 they make boats from paper (given an instruction demo and a sheet) then the teacher acts as quality control and changes the colour of paper required at random times, not enough time to run this. I have done this successfully on an interview (I like to take a risk) for a group who were studying production.


Hope that has been helpful. Please feel free to send me any ideas or images from your teamwork sessions revisionstation@hotmail.co.uk





Sarah Hilton is a business teacher with 24 years experience at the chalk face and over 20 years as a GCSE and A level business examiner.

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