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GROUP ACTIVITIES
 

 

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GROUP ACTIVITIES


 


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GROUP ACTIVITIES FOR LEADERS

 

Leaders oftentimes need good group activities to use at meetings and training sessions to help team members get acquainted and develop their skills.  Here is a list of various ice breakers, team-building and cooperation activities, and awareness and self reflection exercises that can be incorporated into any meeting or training session.

 

Group Activities for Leaders

Team Building Games

Team Building Exercises

Ice Breaker Activities

 


HUMAN KNOT

Team Building and Cooperation

 

Instructions:

Participants are asked to form a circle, shoulders touching.

One participant is asked to put his/her left arm behind back.

Another participant is asked to put his/her right arm behind back.

All participants asked to reach left hand into circle and grasp hand of another participant.

All participants asked to reach right hand into circle and grasp hand of another participant (not same participant who is grasping other hand).

With the two participants with loose hands acting as the two ends of the rope, participants are asked to try to untie the knot.

Participants may communicate with each other verbally and move their bodies, heads, arms and legs in an effort to weave in and out.

Participants must keep their hands attached at all times.

 

Discussion:

Did you enjoy the exercise?  What made it so much fun?

Were there any frustrating moments?

What was required of each participant in order to accomplish the goal? (Cooperation)

What did you have to do to be successful with this activity? (Teamwork)

What skills were particularly helpful? (Communication)

What did you learn from this activity? 

What does it represent? 

How does it apply to life?

 


MUSICAL CHAIRS

Cooperation Instead of Competition

 

Instructions (Round 1):

Set up two rows or chairs back to back, facing outward.

There should be as many chairs as there are participants.

Participants are asked to form a loose circle (oval) around the two lines of chairs.

As music is played, the participants are asked to all walk in the same direction, encircling the two lines of chairs.

While the participants are walking, a facilitator removes one of the chairs.

When the music is abruptly stopped, the participants must seek out a chair to sit in.

The one participant who fails to find a chair must opt out of the game.

The process continues as the music is turned off and on and chairs are removed one by one until only one participant remains.

 

Instructions (Round2):

Announce that the game will be played again, except that a few minor rules have been changed.

Set up two rows or chairs back to back, facing outward.

There should be as many chairs as there are participants.

Participants are asked to form a loose circle (oval) around the two lines of chairs.

As music is played, the participants are asked to all walk in the same direction, encircling the two lines of chairs.

While the participants are walking, a facilitator removes one of the chairs.

When the music is abruptly stopped, the participants must seek out a chair to sit in.

The one participant who fails to find a chair must sit in the lap of one of the participants instead.

The process continues as the music is turned off and on and chairs are removed one by one until all participants are piled up on one chair.

 

Discussion:

How did you feel about the first round?

How did you feel about the second round?

How were the two experiences different from each other?

What was required of the participants to win in the first round?  (Competition)
What was required of the participants to win in the second round?  (Cooperation)

What did you learn from this activity? 

What does it represent?  How does it apply to life?

 


SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL

Discrimination and Marginalization

 

Instructions:

Divide the group of people into two smaller groups (Odd and Even).

Ask the Even Numbered Team to fold up their chairs and store them against the wall

.Ask the two teams to sit down – The Odd Numbered Team is asked to sit in their chairs while the Even Team is instructed to sit on the floor.

The facilitator explains that Even People are inferior and therefore should not be permitted to sit in chairs – The Odd People, being superior, are allowed to sit in the chairs.

The facilitator announces that drinks will be served.

An assistant brings out a jug of water and a stack of paper cups and hands them to one of the members of the Even Team, instructing them to pass the water around.

Another assistant brings out a case of canned soft drinks and distributes them to each member of the Odd Team.

The facilitator announces that it is proper that the drinks are allocated in this manner as it is well known that Even People are not only inferior, but less deserving of the finer things in life

Next the facilitator announces that there will now be a Quiz Game and that each team will take turns answering the questions.

First a difficult question is posed to the Even Team – When no one on the team is able to answer the question, the facilitator’s assistants boo and jeer.

The facilitator explains that it was really no surprise that the Even Team missed the question, since Even People are generally regarded as less intelligent.

Then an easy question is posed to the Odd Team – When one of the team members answers the questions, the facilitator’s assistants cheer and pass out candy.

The questioning proceeds back and forth (difficult and easy) between the two teams, and each time the facilitator announces loudly the score: Odd Team 3, Even Team 0, etc.

 

Questions:

Difficult:  What is the circumference of the earth?

Easy: How many legs does an octopus have?

Difficult:  What is largest city in Luxembourg?

Easy: What is the capitol of Alabama?

Difficult:  What is the square root of pi x 37?

Easy: What is the sum of 5 plus 5?

Difficult: What empire was victorious in the second Punic War?

Easy: Who discovered America?

 

Discussion:

First, this was just an exercise.  We were just pretending.  No one truly believes that the members of the Even Team are in any way inferior.

 

Second, this was a demonstration intended to help team members experience the feelings associated with discrimination and marginalization.

 

How did it make you feel to be on the Even Team?

How did it make you feel to be on the Odd Team?

What was your reaction to the unfair treatment you received as an Even Person?

What was your reaction to the preferential treatment you received as an Odd Person?

What did you learn from this activity? 

What does it represent? 

How does it apply to life?

  


TRIVIAL PURSUIT

Important People in Your Life

 

Instructions:

Five game cards are passed out to the participants.

Each game card represents a different subject category: Politics, Science, Entertainment, Sports, and Life.

One by one, for each category a question is posed to the group and each participant takes a moment to write his/her answer on the specifically marked game card.

 

Questions:

Politics: Name 5 Presidents.

Science: Name 5 Astronauts.

Entertainment: Name 5 Oscar-Winning Actors.

Sports: Name 5 Heisman Trophy-Winning Athletes.

Life: Name 5 People Who Have Had an Impact on Your Life (and Why).

 

Discussion:

How many of these questions were you able to answer?

Why were you able to so easily forget these famous people?

Why were you able to so easily remember these not-so-famous people?

What were some of your responses to the Life question?

What are some of the reasons certain people have an impact on you?

How have they made a difference in your life?

Why do you admire them?  Respect them?  Remember them?

  


PERSONAL UNFOLDMENT

Ice Breaking and Thought Provoking

 

Instructions:

Organize the group in a circle.

Ask each member of the group to introduce him or herself in turn.

Tell the group that this exercise provides group members an opportunity to practice sharing meaningful things about themselves.

Group members are asked to consider the people and experiences that helped form their identity.

Reflect on each of these statements and respond accordingly...

 

Questions:

A happy moment.

A decision that I made which changed the course of my life.

A satisfying experience.

A person who made a difference in my life.

A sad experience.

An experience in which I helped someone.

A learning experience.

An achievement I am proud of.

The best advice I ever gave.

The best advice I ever received.

A moment of positive excitement and optimism.

A goal I achieved.

A goal I am working on.

Something I achieved despite my hesitation to start.

My worst mistake.

What I was famous for in my family as a child.

A problem I solved.

The disappointing result of a plan or goal.

An embarrassing situation.

My best friend.

A pleasant surprise.

A personal trait which makes me unique.

My biggest secret.

 


BREAKING BOUNDARIES

Opening Up Yourself to Others

 

Instructions:

Organize the group in a circle.

Ask each member of the group to introduce him or herself in turn.

Tell the group that this exercise provides group members an opportunity to practice sharing meaningful things about themselves.

Group members are asked to practice listening to others as they share meaningful things about themselves.

Each member of the group is asked to consider the following questions... Answer in turn...   Elaborate as needed...   Interact as they wish...

Each group of questions is intentionally more serious…  more personal

 

Questions:

 

(A)

What is the best movie that you have ever seen?

What is the best book that you have ever read?

What is the best place you have ever visited?

What is your favorite way to spend your leisure time?

 

(B)

What do you want to be doing ten years from now?

On what basis do you select your friends?

What is the greatest value that guides your life?

For what do you think you would lay down your life?

 

(C)

What emotion is strongest in you?

What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?

When do you feel the most lonely?

What is your greatest fear?

What is the kindest thing ever done for you?

What is the meanest thing ever done to you?

 

(D)

What one day in your life would you like to live over?

If you had one day left to live, how would you spend it?

 

(E)

Who, in this group, possesses a quality you admire?

Who, in this group, is most like you?

 


YOUR LIFE’S CALLING

Goal Setting and Career Planning

 

Instructions:

Organize the group in a circle.

Ask each member of the group to introduce him or herself in turn.

Announce that this is a brainstorming exercise.

Provide this introductory statement: Brainstorming may easily be the best starting point in trying to discover your dreams.  Without any regard for reality or practicality, allow yourself to daydream momentarily. If you had unlimited time and resources, what would you choose to do? If you had no constraints on your pursuits, what would you do? When you daydream, what do you see yourself doing? Simply fantasize without restriction as you consider your responses to the following questions.

Read each question aloud and give each member of the group the opportunity to respond in turn before proceeding to the next question.

 

Discussion:

How would you describe your perfect job?

How would you describe the ultimate vacation?

How would you describe the perfect place to live?

What would you do if you suddenly had a million dollars?

What hobbies or activities get you the most excited?

What things can you do better than anybody else?

What qualities do you admire most in others?

What causes do you want most to support?

What problems in the world today really need solving?

 

 

 

 

 

 


ALABAMA COUNSELING ASSOCIATION   n   Leadership Handbook