Volume 2: Student Empowerment

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1 1. People BINGO Set a time limit and give prizes to students. See People BINGO Student Handout for directions (Stage One Teambuilding Activity Resources in this section). 2. Party Mixer Follow the same guidelines as for People BINGO (above). See Party Mixer Student Handout for directions (Stage One Teambuilding Activity Resources in this section). 3. Getting to Know You This activity is designed to encourage students to introduce themselves to others and to find out interesting information about others in the class. Students will move around the room, ask questions, and find people who match the descriptions. Call out MOVE! every 1 2 minutes to keep it lively. At the end of the activity, you may ask students to share the names of those who matched the descriptions. See Getting to Know You Student Handout for directions (Stage One Teambuilding Activity Resources in this section). 4. Name Chain Students form a circle and, going around the circle, the first student says his/her name in a unique way (e.g., Brick House Brian, Kookie Kati, etc.) Clarify in advance that the names must be respectful and positive. The next student repeats the previous name and then says his/her own name in a similar fashion. Subsequent students repeat previous names and then give their own. Towards the middle of the group, students will most likely not be able to recall the first names spoken, so the group will likely need to give help. Variation: Have students speak a one-word descriptor that starts with the same letter as their name (alliteration). For example: Motivated Michelle. Students repeat each person s descriptor and name before saying their own, as above. 5. Group Juggle Each student wads up a piece of paper into a ball; then students form several groups. Instruct each group to form a circle. Start the group juggle in each group by asking one student to toss one ball (wad of paper) to someone else. The groups continue tossing one ball around the circle. Next, tell groups to add another ball to the juggle (and start to establish a pattern of tossing). Continue the process with each ball added to the group juggle. After a few minutes, stop the group juggle. Get the whole group s attention and start over with all groups beginning at the same time. Remind the groups to establish and repeat a pattern with their tosses. Whenever a group drops a ball, the whole group sits down. This continues until there is only one remaining group. 6. Group Name Juggle Establish groups and form group circles. Establish a pattern for throwing an object (wad of paper, soft ball, etc.) from one member to another (across and one right, three to the left, etc.). When throwing, the thrower says his/her own name first and then the name of the person catching. The student catching the toss thanks the thrower by name and then tosses the ball to the next student, saying his/her own name first and then the name of person catching. Practice a couple of times, keeping the same pattern each time and trying to speed things up with each round. Gradually add more objects to be thrown so there are several objects in play at a time (all repeating the same pattern). 342

2 7. Warp Speed Establish groups and form group circles. The object of Warp Speed is to pass a ball around the circle as fast as possible with each student touching the ball. Challenge groups to lower times by 5 10 seconds. Can they get it down to 2 seconds? (They have to get REALLY close together!) 8. Capture the Flag Play outside and divide the class into two teams. Consider having the 7th grade AVID Excel class play the 8th grade AVID Excel class. See Teambuilding Focus Lesson: Capture the Flag for directions (Stage One Teambuilding Activity Resources in this section). 1. Partner Interview Notes After students complete this activity, you can add a public-speaking activity in which they introduce their partners to the class using the information from the interviews. See Partner Interview Notes Student Handout for directions (Stage Two Teambuilding Activity Resources in this section). 2. Partners Use this activity to help students find common ground and appreciate one another s individuality. See Partners Student Handout for directions (Stage Two Teambuilding Activity Resources in this section). 3. One-One-Two Minute Partner Share Partners will choose to be A or B. On your signal, partner A will share for one minute nonstop anything he or she wants to share about himself or herself (for example, birthday, favorite color, favorite food, number of siblings, hobbies, or what he or she likes to do for fun). Partner B may not ask any questions or interrupt in any way, but listens carefully and tries to remember everything partner A said. When one minute is up, partner B repeats or lists back as many things as he or she can remember hearing partner A say. Switch roles. When both partners have listened and shared, they get two minutes to ask each other any questions about what they heard the other partner share. You may choose to repeat this sequence with other partners, or have partners introduce each other in groups of four. See One-One-Two Minute Partner Share Student Handout for directions (Stage Two Teambuilding Activity Resources in this section). 4. Thumper Establish groups and form group circles. Group members lay on their stomachs with their arms intertwined, palms down. A group leader sends a signal (e.g., one slap on the floor). This signal must continue around the circle in the order of the hands. Two slaps are a signal to reverse the flow. Anyone who misses must withdraw the guilty hand. 5. Hagoo Divide the class into two teams and form lines (stand shoulder-to-shoulder and lines face each other, one yard apart). One person from each team will volunteer to walk past each person in the row of the opposite team while each person on that team tries to make the volunteer from the other team smile as s/he walks by. No touching is allowed. If the volunteer cracks a smile, s/he must join the opposite team. If s/he makes it to the end straight-faced, s/he gets back in line with the original team. Next team volunteer tries. Keep up for a designated amount of time or until one team has claimed a certain number of smilers. Section 4: Self-Determination and Leadership 343

3 6. I Like My Neighbor or I Like My Friends Have all members seated on chairs in a circle, with one person standing in the middle as it. The person in the middle makes a statement such as I like my neighbors, especially those who are wearing running shoes. (Other ideas could include: wearing glasses ; are over 12 ; have a birthday in September ; have green eyes ; etc.) All those people who are wearing running shoes must jump up from their seats and scramble to find a chair; the person in the middle also scrambles for an empty chair. The one person left standing becomes the new it. 7. Do After Me Sit in a large circle. One person begins by entering the circle and making a gesture, sound, or movement (the more ridiculous, the more fun), and then points to someone else in the circle to succeed him. This person makes the same gesture, sound, or movement as the preceding person made, and then adds her own performance. She then chooses the next person, and this person need only repeat the preceding action and add one before choosing someone new. The game is over when everyone has had a chance in the circle. 8. Electricity Have everyone sit down in one large circle, cross-legged, with knees touching. Hold hands. One person starts a squeeze on one side and the next person quietly passes it on around the circle. Variation: Start it off by squeezing both sides. Watch the circle explode. Variation: Send an ooh or an aah the other way while the squeezing is going on in the other direction. 1. Toilet Paper Do not state the objective of this game at the beginning. Pass around a couple of rolls of toilet paper and ask students to take as many sheets of toilet paper as they need. Then, once everyone has done so, tell the students they need to share out something about themselves for each square of toilet paper. Some students will only have one square while others will have several. This can be done as a whole-group or in smaller groups. 2. Skittles Introductions (or Fruit Loops or Trix) Put students into groups of 3 or 4. Distribute a small handful of different-colored Skittles (or Fruit Loops or Trix) to each student. Tell the students they cannot eat them until the directions are given. After Skittles are passed out, reveal that each Skittle color represents a category. Examples: Red = favorite hobby; Green = interesting family fact; Yellow = one lifelong goal; Purple = fear; Orange = free choice. Students take turns sharing out based on the Skittle color they pick up. After they pick up the Skittle and share out, they can eat it. Remind students that they can only eat one Skittle at a time and they should take turns sharing out. Variation: This same activity can be used to review class concepts; have each color represent one concept, vocabulary word, word part, or other academic focus area. 3. Tower Building For the tower building activity, students work in groups to construct the tallest and sturdiest tower out of specific materials supplied by the teacher. The most successful teams will work together and rely on 344

4 each other s input and skills to create their tower. See Tower Building Student Handout (Stage Three Teambuilding Activity Resources in this section) for further directions. Be as creative as possible. The following are some suggestions for supplies to hand out to each group: 4. Team Huddle a. Five sheets of paper, ten paper clips, and two 2-inch strips of tape, or b. Two sheets of newspaper, three paper clips, and a piece of play dough, or c. Three sheets of construction paper, three straws, and one 2-inch piece of tape. Select lively music. Instruct all players to move around the room when they hear music playing, and then start the music. (If your room is not conducive to this activity, consider going outside.) When you turn off the music, call out, Huddle and a number. For example, if you call out, Huddle four, then students huddle in groups of four. Any extra players should form their own huddle. Once players are in huddles, call out an action and a low-risk topic to share. For example, have students high-five each other and share their favorite music or musical group. Turn the music back on and continue calling out huddle groups of different numbers and giving them actions and topics. Increase the depth and complexity of each topic the huddles will discuss, and allow for more time in each huddle as groups share. You may choose to end with a final huddle for the whole group by calling, Huddle everyone! 5. Team Similarities Turn on lively music and have all players wander around the room. Turn off the music and call out Get together! with some category at the end, such as Get together with everyone who likes the same type of candy bar as you! Players quickly try to identify fellow teammates who like the same type of candy bar and make a group (the Snickers, the Baby Ruths, the Twix, and so on). Then have group members share something such as their favorite time of the year and why, favorite holiday and why, and favorite movie and why. Continue to use a wide variety of low-risk categories, such as ice cream flavors, favorite colors, and soft-drink flavors. As the students become more comfortable with each other, the topics on which they share in the groups may become higher risk. For example, they could describe their most frustrating moment in school, proudest moment so far, scariest moment, most embarrassing moment, best teacher, worst teacher, and so on. 6. Slap Game Have students stand in a tight circle. Tell them to put their right hand underneath their neighbor s left hand. Call out a category, such as sports teams, TV cartoon characters, or key people, vocabulary, concepts from class. Each student calls out something that fits the identified category and gently slaps their neighbor s hand with their left hand indicating it is now the neighbor s turn. The game continues around the circle. Students cannot repeat answers or take too long (5-second rule). When this happens, change the category. 1. Who Am I? Create a PowerPoint presentation with images of famous people and cartoon characters. Send one student (or pair) out of the room (or have them turn around) and reveal the famous person/cartoon image to the rest of the class. The guesser (individual or pair) needs to ask yes or no questions to the rest of the class to Section 4: Self-Determination and Leadership 345

5 determine who is on the screen. The guesser selects the next person/pair after correctly identifying the image. If the image isn t identified, move onto a new image. Variation: This is a good activity to use to review course information as well important people, places, concepts, etc. 2. Socratic Seminar. See Oral Language section in Volume 1: Academic Language Acquisition. 3. Pastiche Create a pastiche story in small groups or with a partner. This involves reading a text excerpt and then creating a new text mimicking the author s text structure. Share the newly-created texts with part or all of the class. See Teambuilding Focus Lesson: Pastiche for directions (Stage Four Teambuilding Activity Resources in this section). 4. Public Speaking See Oral Language section in Volume 1: Academic Language Acquisition for Public Speaking Focus Lessons such as: introduction speech, paper bag speech, I Am poem, etc. 5. Leadership Maze Students work together to get the class through a teacher-designed maze. Though students do not have to stand in front of the class in the style of a presentation, they will have to speak up, strategize, and problem-solve with a group. As such, each student will be speaking in front of the group. See Teambuilding Focus Lesson: Leadership Maze for directions (Stage Four Teambuilding Activity Resources in this section). Evanski, G. (2002). The question of attention: State changes and energizers for your classroom. Retrieved from Gibbs, J. (1994). Tribes: A new way of learning and being together. California: CenterSource Systems, LLC. Gregson, B. (1982). The incredible indoor games book. Fearon Teacher AIDS. LaMeres, C. (1990). The winner s circle: Yes I can! Self-esteem lessons for the secondary classroom. California: LaMeres Lifestyles Unlimited. Teampedia: Tools for teams. (2007). Retrieved from 346

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