When teaching a large group of middle school students about working together, prepare team-building activities for them. Activities provide the students with a hands-on way to learn these skills. The students can perform activities in a large group or you can split them into smaller groups to see who can complete the activity in the fastest time.
Give each student a piece of 1- or 2-inch plastic gutter. Each piece should vary from 6 inches to 24 inches. The object of the activity is for students to work together to create one long gutter from the individual pieces so a marble can travel down the gutter. If the marble falls through a crack, they have to start over. Alternatively, place a bucket on the ground. Students must work together to hold up the gutter, then pour water down it until the bucket fills up with water.
Separate the large group into two teams. Ask students to select partners. Each pair sits on the ground back-to-back and interlocks elbows. When you say “Go,” the pairs must stand up without separating. The first group to have all the players stand up wins the activity. Players can help each other by giving hints on how to stand up. Another idea is have pairs stand up, back-to-back without interlocking elbows. Place an egg between their lower backs. They must sit the egg on the ground by bending down slowly. The first team to have all their players sit and not drop the egg wins the activity.
Divide students into two teams and have each team select a leader. Mark a starting line and a finish line 30-feet apart. Each student, except the two leaders, will put on a blindfold. When you say “Go,” the two leaders must guide their team members to the finish line using only verbal commands. The first team to have all their players cross the finish line wins the activity. Alternatively, play this game in one large group with one leader. Time each player to see who can guide the group to the finish line the fastest.
Divide the students into groups of six or seven. Call out a shape, such as circle, triangle or star. The teams work together to create the shape using their bodies. They can make the shape standing up or laying on the ground. The first team to make the correct shape wins the activity. You can also do this activity with one large group and have everyone work together to make shapes.
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