Tuesday, February 03, 2009

    COMMUNITY BUILDER: Spell It Out!

    This is a fun, non-competitive activity that allows youth to work on teams but also work together as a whole group. Prepare a list of simple words ahead of time, perhaps words that connect with a planned study (e.g. peace, conflict, help, friend, etc.). Split into teams and challenge each team to figure out how to spell out their assigned word using their bodies. No hand signals or signs allowed! The goal here really is to get them using their whole bodies. Of course, this may be accomplished by laying on the floor or standing next to one another or by creating one letter at a time -- however the team can creatively meet the challenge. When everyone is ready, gather back together and have the group work to guess what word each team is spelling out. For an added challenge, have teams attempt to spell out whole phrases (perhaps using truncated text message-like spellings). Remember that one of the most important aspects of cooperative community builders is to spend some time afterward debriefing the experience. Ask groups to share what was difficult about the challenge or what insights they gained as they worked together. Why even play cooperative games like this? See our rationale here and here.

    2 comments:

    Danny Bradfield said...

    This sounds pretty cool. A similar game I've played once is to have youth take off their shoes and socks, and to write letters on the bottom of their feet with marker. Then have a list of short words that they have to spell by arranging their feet in the right order. Of course, all the letters in the words have to be letters on their feet.

    Hmm, maybe I'll try one of these this week!

    Brian said...

    Hey Danny. Thanks for the additional idea. Sounds fun -- particulary if you have a few ticklish folk in the group!