Symptoms, Sources, Solutions (GAME)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

20-30 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to understand a simple problem-solving model and to remember that we should always look for the Sources of the problem before we try to implement Solutions.

Scriptures

Isaiah 5:1-30

Materials

o  Symptoms-Sources-Solutions Cards (can be found at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page in the file, “Symptoms-Sources-Solutions Cards.ppt” – you will need 6-10 sets (a set is made up of all three cards, Symptoms, Sources and Solutions) for every 3-5 participants.)

o  Card stock paper (preferred – you will need one sheet per set of cards that you print.  For example, if you have 20 participants and divide them into four groups of five, you will want to have at least 24 sets of the cards (this allows each group to have at least six sets of cards).  This would require 24 sheets of paper.)

o  Scissors or cutting tool

o  Flipchart and markers

o  Prizes for the winners (optional)

o  Bible (optional)

Preparation

o  Print out the Symptoms-Sources-Solutions cards.

o  Divide the number of sets (all three cards) you printed by the number of groups you will have in the class.

o  Cut out the cards.  (Each card should be cut out individually.  In other words, each Sources card, each Symptoms card and each, Solutions card should be separate from the others.  Make sure that you keep each group of cards separate from the others so that you don’t accidentally give one group an incomplete set.  Each group should have 6-10 complete sets (all three cards).)

o  Shuffle each group of cards so that they are in random order.  (Keep the groups separate from each other, and set them aside to be used during your workshop.)

o  Take the scrap pieces of paper or card stock, and divide them up evenly between the groups.  Groups will use these as “dividers” to separate each complete set of cards as they play the game.  Each team will need from 5-9 dividers, depending upon how many sets of cards you give them.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “I have a simple problem solving model that I would like to share with you.”
  • “It’s called ‘Symptoms-Sources-Solutions.’”  (Sketch the tree on a flip chart or whiteboard as you talk.)
  • “Symptoms are the part of the problem that is obvious.  They are above the ground like the branches of this unhealthy tree.”  (Label the top of the tree, “Symptoms,” and make the tree look unhealthy, like the example on the Symptoms card.)
  • “Symptoms are the first things you notice about the problem, like when you get sick – the first things you notice are the Symptoms – a rash or a scratchy throat or a fever.”
  • “These things are not the real problem; they are just the evidence of the problem.”
  • “To find the real problem, you need to look for the Sources – the root of the problem.”  (Label the roots of the tree, “Sources,” and make them look unhealthy with skulls and crossbones (like the example on the Sources card) or in some other way.)
  • “A good doctor won’t just solve your Symptoms by giving you a pain killer, some cream and a bandage.”
  • “If that’s all he does, you might feel better for a little while, but your problem isn’t going to go away.”
  • “As soon as the pain killer wears off, the pain will be back, because the pain is just the messenger that tells you that the problem exists.”
  • “Symptoms are a messenger, and you don’t want to just hide the Symptoms.”
  • “You want to listen to what they are trying to tell you – that something is wrong and needs your attention!”
  • “A good doctor will look for the Source of the problem that the Symptoms point to, because he recognizes that Symptoms are a very helpful way of learning about a deeper problem.”
  • “Once he understands where the Symptoms are coming from, the doctor can prescribe a Solution that will get rid of the Symptoms by removing the Sources.” (Write “Solutions” in big letters over the tree.  Make the tree healthy by crossing out your skulls or other negative illustrations and drawing some fruit on the tree.)
  • “I would like for you to remember this model (Symptoms-Sources-Solutions) and how important it is to do the steps in the right order, so we’re going to play a game that will accomplish that.” (Hand out the stacks of cards facedown to each group.  Also, give each group a stack of 5-9 “dividers.”)
  • “Please leave the cards facedown.”
  • “The strips of paper that I gave you are ‘dividers’.”
  • “Please give these to one person at the table.”
  • “For the cards, one person should deal them out facedown to all remaining group members (other than the one who has the dividers).”   (Allow a moment for them to deal out the cards.)
  • “It’s okay if some people get more cards than others.  You will be working together as a team in this game.”
  • “There are three different types of cards that you have in front of you.”
  • “Some are Symptoms cards; Some are Sources cards and some are Solutions cards.”
  • “The objective of the game is to be the fastest team to assemble all your cards in the right order.”
  • “For example, when I signal the start of the game, each person will pick up the top card on his/her deck and look at it.”
  • “If it says, ‘Symptoms,’ that person will slap his or her card face-up in the center of the table.”
  • “Then, someone with a card that says, ‘Sources,’ will slap his or her card face-up on top of the Symptoms card.”
  • “Finally, someone with a ‘Solutions’ card will slap his or her card face-up on top of the Sources card.”
  • “This completes a set, so the person with the dividers should now slap down a divider strip to separate the first set of cards from the next set.”
  • “Once the divider slip is on top of the Solutions card, anyone who has a ‘Symptoms’ card can now slap it down face-up on the same pile.”
  • “You continue like this until all of the cards in everyone’s stacks are played.”
  • “Whenever you slap down a card, you can draw a new one off the top of your deck and look at it.”
  • “If someone mistakenly slaps down a card in the wrong order (for example, slapping a Solutions card on top of a Symptoms card), then he or she has to pick it back up off the pile in the center and put it facedown underneath his or her stack of cards.”
  • “If no one has the correct card in his or her hands, and no one can play, everyone must ‘burn’ their card (which means that they have to put it facedown underneath their stack of cards in front of them) and draw a new card.”
  • “When everyone finishes, groups should inspect their cards to make sure they are all in the right order with dividers between each complete set of three cards (Symptoms-Sources-Solutions).”
  • “Each set that is correctly laid is worth one point.”
  • “If they slapped any cards in the wrong order and didn’t notice until the end of the game, they lose one point for each incorrect set.”
  • “The team that has the highest points wins.”
  • “If there is a tie for points, then the team that finished earliest with the highest points wins.”
  • “What questions do you have?”  (Answer any questions.  Then let them play a round.  Award a prize for the winning group if you like.  You might want to let them play several times.  Then have them answer the following debrief questions.  NOTE: If you want to use the Scriptures linked to this game as a teaching point, have participants read Isaiah 5:20-25 and create a flipchart with a drawing of a tree.  Then, have them label the parts of the tree with the Symptoms and Sources of the problem.  They can also list God’s Solutions to the problem and brainstorm alternative Solutions that Jerusalem and Judah could have enacted that would have resolved the Sources and eliminated the Symptoms in a more positive way.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. What was difficult about the game?
  2. What comparisons can you make between the challenges in the game and the challenges related to problem solving in real life?
  3. What do you think are some of the consequences of going straight from Symptoms to Solutions in real-life problem solving?
  4. How can you prevent this from happening?
  5. What lessons can you take away from the Symptoms-Sources-Solutions model and game?
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Filed under Challenges, competition, Decision making, Game, Games that Teach, Needs Analysis, Overcoming obstacles, Performance, Problem solving, Solutions

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