Category Archives: Games that Teach

Ideas for Using Icebreakers, Energizers and Games Effectively in Learning


PHOTO - Icebreaker

The following tips might be helpful to you as you use icebreakers, energizers and games in your facilitation.

Connect to Your Content

Whenever possible, connect your icebreakers and games to the content.  Don’t just use them to increase energy; this is not the best use of your time.   You should be able to debrief the activity and make connections to one of your learning objectives.  (P.S. You can apply this principle to devotions, worship and even breaks sometimes.)

Provide Clear Instructions

Give instructions a little at a time and more than one time.  If you give all the instructions at the beginning, participants are likely to get confused or forget them.  Make sure you repeat the instructions, because there are always some who are not paying attention or don’t understand the first time.

Practice Before You Facilitate

Icebreakers and games rarely go as you planned them in your mind, and practice can help you see the flaws.  As you practice, think about how the activity will sound and feel to the participants.  Putting yourself in their place will help you see where you need to make adjustments.

Design Your Debrief

Design really good debrief questions to make sure they get the main ideas.  Icebreakers and games are fun, and participants often forget they are learning while doing them.  This is great, except that if you don’t do the work to connect what just happened back to the content, they may leave without learning what they needed to learn.

Set Clear Boundaries for Competition

When people compete in games, they get pretty upset if you change the rules in the middle or at the end.  They will be very creative in coming up with new ways to reach the goal, so you have to decide whether or not you want to allow creative solutions that may feel like “cheating” to other groups or individuals.  Make sure your rules are clear and comprehensive, and then stick with them.

Schedule for Downtimes

Icebreakers, energizers and games can be a very effective way of increasing engagement levels, especially when everyone is feeling tired or distracted.  The best times to schedule them are: at the beginning of the day, after breaks and after lunch.  It’s also a good idea to have a few extra energizers ready in case you can tell you are loosing your participants’ attention.  Try to keep icebreakers and energizers under five minutes so that they don’t eat up your facilitation time.

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Filed under Energizer, Facilitation, Games that Teach, Icebreaker, Teaching, Uncategorized

Proactivity (GAME)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

30 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to recognize the need for being proactive in addressing problems rather than procrastinating, hoping things will change or avoiding the problems altogether.  Participants will make decisions about which problems (from a given set of scenarios) to address with their limited time and resources.

 

Scriptures

2 Samuel 13-18 (for the story of Amnon’s rape of Tamar, Absalom’s revenge and coup against David and the war that followed – Had David intervened early in the conflict, much of the destruction and loss could have been avoided.)

 

Materials

o  Copies of the worksheet, “Proactivity – Game Card” (one per participant.  This document can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.)

o  Bible (if you choose to look at the Bible verses mentioned above to give context for the game)

o  Prize for the winner (optional)

Preparation

o  Print out the “Proactivity – Game Card” worksheet (one per participant)

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to play a game called ‘Proactivity.’”
  • “The purpose is to show you how important it is to address problems at the early stages before the get unmanageable or cause too much disruption.”
  • “On your worksheet, there are six different problems.”
  • “They are each at a different level of intensity on a scale of 1-10.”
  • “A level 1 problem is not causing much tension or having much impact.”
  • “A level 5 problem is causing measurable tension and negative impact.”
  • “A level 10 problem is totally disruptive and requires immediate attention.”
  • “The game is played in four rounds.”
  • “At the beginning of each round, you have an opportunity to make an intervention on two of the six problems.”
  • “You ‘intervene’ by placing an ‘X’ over the square for the upcoming round on two of the problems.”
  • “This indicates that you have taken action to prevent the problem from getting worse.”
  • “If I announce during the next round that the problem has gotten worse and that it has increased in levels, you do not have to count those extra levels on your sheet.  You prevented them from happening.”
  • “In the following round, you can choose to use your two interventions for the same two problems, for two new ones or for a mix of one new and one old.  It’s up to you.”
  • “Your goal is to finish with the lowest overall score, and your score will be determined by adding up the levels from each round for each problem.”
  • “For example, if one problem starts at a level 3, increases three levels in the second round, increases two levels in the third round and increases four levels in the forth round, your total score for that problem would exceed the maximum level of 10 (unless you used an intervention during one or more rounds.)”
  • “If your score reaches or exceeds the maximum of 10 points, you incur a 5 point penalty for that problem.”
  • “In the same example, if you used an intervention on the second (3 pts) and fourth rounds (4 pts), you don’t have to count those points in your total.  Your score for that problem would only be 5 pts (3 pts in the first round and 2 pts in the third round).”
  • “The trick is anticipating which problems are about to escalate the most in the coming round so that you can avoid the points by using an intervention.”
  • “What questions do you have before we begin?”  (Answer questions.  Then, follow the process outlined below.)
  • “Here are the six problems you are currently facing.”  (They can read what you are saying on their Game Cards.)
  • “Problem #1: Two staff members are in a relationship, but they are currently not speaking to one another.  This is currently at a Level 2.”
  • “Problem #2: Two senior leaders are having a conflict with one another.  This is currently at Level 4.”
  • “Problem #3: A staff member has shown up late to work several times this week.  This is currently at a Level 3.”
  • “Problem #4: A project has missed two of the early deliverables.  This is currently at Level 5.”
  • “Problem #5: You have a sore tooth.  This is currently at Level 2.”
  • “Problem #6: Your spouse is irritated that you are working too many hours.  This is currently at Level 3.”
  • “Before I announce the changes for Round 2, pick two of the problems that you want to intervene on (i.e., take action on to prevent them from getting worse).  Place an ‘X’ on Row 2 in the column for that problem.” (Allow them a moment to mark their “X’s.”)
  • “When I announce the changes, you don’t have to write any change in these two places, because you have taken action to prevent them from getting worse.”
  • “Here are the changes for Round 2.  As I read these, write the number of points in the box on Row 2 for each problem.”
    1. ROUND 2

                    i.     Problem #1 – The couple won’t work on a project team together. Add 2 points.

                    ii.     Problem #2 – No change.  Add 0 points.

                    iii.     Problem #3 – The staff member missed an important deadline.  Add 2 points.

                    iv.     Problem #4 – The project team is forecasting that they will go over budget.  Add 2 points.

                    v.     Problem #5 – You can’t eat out of that side of your mouth.  Add 3 points.

                    vi.     Problem #6 – Your spouse made several sarcastic jokes at a party about you being “home for a short visit” in between trips.  Add 1 point.

  • “You should have something in every box on Row 2 now.  Two squares will have an ‘X,’ and the rest will have a number.”
  • “Before I announce Round 3, mark an ‘X’ in two boxes on the third row to show that you are doing an intervention on those problems.”
  • “Here are the changes for Round 3.”
    1. ROUND 3

                    i.     Problem #1 – The couple had a loud argument at the office.  Add 4 points.

                    ii.     Problem #2 – The senior leaders’ teams are taking sides. Add 3 points.

                    iii.     Problem #3 – No change.  Add 0 points.

                    iv.     Problem #4 – The team reworked the budget and got the costs back under the limit.  Subtract 2 points.  (If a team used an intervention on this problem for this round, they can put an ‘X’ over the 2 points in Round 2.)

                    v.     Problem #5 – A piece of tooth fell out.  It’s hard to focus on anything.  Add 4 points.

                    vi.     Problem #6 – You had a fight about your travel schedule.  Add 4 points.

  • “All the boxes on the third row should have something in them now.”
  • “Before I announce Round 4, mark an ‘X’ in two boxes on the fourth row to show that you are doing an intervention on those problems.”
  • “Here are the changes for Round 4.”
    1. ROUND 4

                    i.     Problem #1 – The female member of the couple filed a sexual harassment lawsuit.  Add 5 points.

                    ii.     Problem #2 – Staff on both teams are sabotaging the efforts of the others.  Add 5 points.

                    iii.     Problem #3 – The staff member missed three days of work in the last two weeks. Add 3 points.

                    iv.     Problem #4 – A major milestone has been missed.  Add 3 points.

                    v.     Problem #5 – Your tooth is abscessed, and you need a root canal.  Add 4 points.

                    vi.     Problem #6 – Your spouse took the kids and left to stay with her parents.  Add 6 points.

  • “Now it’s time to add up your scores.”
  • “If any of your scores is equal to or greater than 10, you have to add a 5-point penalty for allowing that problem to blow up on you.”
  • “Anytime you ignore something important for long enough, it will be both urgent and important to get your attention.”
  • “Add this penalty to your Total to get your New Total.”
  • “After you’ve added each column, add each of those totals together to get your Grand Total.” (You might want to award a prize for the lowest overall score.  Afterwards, have them discuss the Debrief Questions below.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. What was challenging about the game?
  2. What are some of the major teaching points?
  3. How will you apply them to your life and work?

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Filed under Decision making, Games that Teach, Initiative, Priorities, Problem solving

The Mafia Game (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

 

Time

20-30 minutes
Description

This game shows the negative impact of distrust and lack of role-clarity on collaboration within a team.  Participants are assigned a secret role to play (Mafia, Police, Doctor or Townspeople), and “good” and “evil” try to eliminate each other. It is based on a game originally invented by psychology student Dimitry Davidoff in Russia in1986.  (A variation for young children is described at the end.)

 

Scriptures

If you would like to connect this game to a biblical lesson, you can choose from the following (depending on what point you would like to make):

  • Psalm 133 (It is good for God’s people to live together in peace.)
  • Proverbs 3:29 (Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.)
  • Proverbs 12:22 (The Lord detests lying lips but delights in the trustworthy.)
  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (One body but many parts)

 

Materials

o  Deck(s) of playing cards – one deck for every 8 to 12 people (If your group is larger than 12 people, you will need two decks.  If it’s larger than 24, you will need three, and so on…  However, if you have a total of people that is bigger than 12 but too small for two groups, you can just play with one large group.)

o  Flipchart or whiteboard and markers (optional)

o  Prizes for the winners (optional)

Preparation

o  Take out the following playing cards from each deck:

o  2 Aces – representing the Mafia

o  2 Kings – representing the Police

o  1 Queen – represents the Doctor

o  Enough number cards for the rest of the people in each group (For example, if you have a group of 8, you will have 2 Aces, 2 Kings, 1 Queen and 3 number cards.  If you have a group of 12, you will have 2 Aces, 2 Kings, 1 Queen and 7 number cards.)

o  Shuffle the cards up for each deck, but keep the decks separate from each other.

Procedure

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

  • “We are going to play The Mafia Game.”
  • “First, I need to divide you into groups.”  (Divide the participants into groups of 8-12 people each, and have each group sit in a circle, facing each other.)
  • “Everyone in your group is part of a town.”
  • “There are both good people and bad people in your town.”
  • “During the game, we will have both day and night in your town.”
  • “Each day and night together are a round of play.”
  • “I have a deck of cards for each group, and in this deck are four kinds of cards – Aces, Kings, Queens and number cards.  I’ve taken all the extra cards out.”
  • “I am going to come to you and ask you to draw one card from the deck.”
  • “You can look at your card, but please do not let anyone else see what you drew.”
  • “The card you draw will determine which role you play in the game.”
  • “There are four roles.”  (You may want to write these roles on a flipchart or whiteboard so that participants don’t forget what the cards mean.)
  • “If you draw an Ace, you are part of the Mafia.  Your goal is to eliminate the Townspeople, the Police and the Doctor during the night.”
  • “If you draw a King, you are part of the Police.  Your goal is to figure out who the Mafia are and to persuade the Townspeople to eliminate them during the day.  You probably will want to keep your identity a secret so that the Mafia doesn’t get rid of you first!”
  • “If you draw a Queen, you are a Doctor.  Your goal is to protect people from the Mafia during the night.  Each night, you can choose one person to protect – it can even be yourself!”
  • “If you draw a number card (no matter what number), you are one of the Townspeople.  Your goal is to eliminate the Mafia during the day.”
  • “I am the Narrator, and I’ll be giving you instructions.”
  • “We will have both days and nights in each round.”
  • “During the night, everyone will close their eyes and put their heads down.”
  • “I will give the Mafia, Police and Doctor roles the opportunity to wake up at night and do their work.”
  • “The Townspeople will stay asleep all night.”
  • “When I say it is day, everyone will lift their heads and open their eyes.”
  • “During the day, everyone can pretend to be a Townsperson, because no one will know what your real role is.”
  • “Everyone will get a chance to try to convince each other who to eliminate.”
  • “If you are eliminated, you will have to leave the circle without telling your identity, but you will be allowed to watch the rest of the game with your eyes open.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions about how the game is played?”  (Answer any questions.  Then, have each person draw one card from the deck(s).  Remind them to keep their card and their role a secret.)
  • “Let’s play! Please do what I tell you when I tell you, and be sure that no one hears you if you are doing your work at night!”

 

NIGHTTIME

  • “It is nighttime, so everyone please go to sleep.” (Everyone puts their head down and closes their eyes.)
  • “Mafia, please wake up.” (Only the member(s) of the Mafia quietly open their eyes. As long as there is more than one Mafia member, they must unanimously choose a person to eliminate by pointing to someone in the group. The Narrator must remember the person chosen.)
  • “Mafia, please go to sleep.” (The Mafia close their eyes and place their heads down again.)
  • “Police, please wake up.” (The member(s) of the Police quietly open their eyes and point to one person, who they suspect is a member of the Mafia.  The Narrator gives a thumbs-up if they are correct and a thumbs down if they are not, but even if they are correct, the person is not eliminated.  The Townspeople have to be persuaded to eliminate the Mafia.)
  • “Police, please go to sleep.” (The member(s) of the Police close their eyes and place their heads down.)
  • “Doctor, please wake up and choose someone you would like to protect.” (The Doctor wakes up and silently points to someone they would like to protect for that day. It’s okay if he/she chooses himself/herself.)
  • “Doctor, please go to sleep.” (The Doctor closes his or her eyes and puts his/her head down.)
  • “It’s morning. Everyone please wake up.” (Everyone opens their eyes and raises their head.)

 

DAYTIME

  • The Narrator announces the person who was eliminated by the Mafia. 
  • Unless the Doctor protected that person, he/she MUST quietly leave the circle.
  • This person may not speak to anyone for the remainder of the entire game, but he or she may now keep his/her eyes open to watch everything.
  • The townspeople (along with the Mafia, Police and Doctor who may pretend to be Townspeople) then nominate and vote on people who they suspect are part of the Mafia.
  • Each person nominated may make a defense and plead their case, but they cannot show their card.
  • The ONE person receiving a majority vote (which must include at least 50% or those voting) is eliminated.
  • After someone is voted off, the day is over.
  • The day may also end without any elimination if the entire group decides not to eliminate anyone.
  • The Narrator again gives the instructions for the Nighttime, and the cycle repeats.
  • The game continues until:
  1. A.    All the Mafia are eliminated (the Police, Doctor and Townspeople win!)
  2. B.    All the Townspeople (at least the ones with number cards) are eliminated (the Mafia win!)
  • Once the game is over, award prizes to the winners in each group if you would like.
  • Then, have the group sit together to discuss the following debriefing questions.  (You might want to put these on a flipchart or whiteboard.)

 

Debrief Questions

  • How difficult was it to collaborate when you weren’t sure whom you could trust?
  • How difficult was it to collaborate when you weren’t sure what role everyone was playing?
  • Were you ever wrong about who the Mafia members were?  What problems did that cause?
  • What types of problems does lack of trust cause in our organization?
  • What types of problems does lack of role clarity cause in our organization?
  • What are some ideas for how we could solve trust and role-clarity issues?

 

Variation for Children – “Predator”

Instead of Mafia members, there are “Predators,” and instead of police there are “Hunters.” Usually three separate Predators (Lion, Wolf, Bear) are chosen and instructed to “wake up” separately at night and attack someone (it’s possible that they will attack each other). Instead of using cards, you can just tap them while their heads are down (“If I tap you now, you are the Bear.”)

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Filed under Collaboration, Games that Teach, Relationships, teamwork, Training, Trust, unity

Joseph’s Journey


For summer camp this year, I’ve written ten Challenges (Bible activities for small groups and a leader to do together – sometimes in competition with other groups) and some large group lessons on the story of Joseph. They are all located on the Lesson and Material Downloads page (see the link at the top of the screen), and you can find them alphabetically in the list. They all start with the letters “JJ” for “Joseph’s Journey.”

Hope you can find some lessons that will be useful for you!

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Filed under Abraham, Abundance, acceptance, activity, Agape Love, Annointing, Belief, Bible study, blessing, Challenges, Change, Character, Christianity, Comfort Zone, Coping skills, courage, Discipline, distractions, drama, exercise, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Future, Game, Games that Teach, God's dream, God's favor, God's Plan, God's Will, Hands-on, Healing, heart, Hope, Humility, Jesus, Joseph, Kindness, leadership, Lesson, Listening to God, Love, Obedience, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, Pride, purity, Relationships, Repentance, Salt of the earth, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Spiritual Warfare, Strengths, struggles, team, temptation, territory, test, tool, Transformation, Trust, unconditional love, Waiting on the Lord

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

Learning Transfer (EXERCISE)


Audience
Children, Teens or Adults

Time
30 minutes

Description
This activity helps teachers, presenters, facilitators and trainers recognize the inherent challenges in teaching as we compete against our audiences’ or participants’ mental barriers to learning transfer.  This exercise can be presented as a “game,” but it is more of a “gotcha” in which participants are set up to fail in order to emphasize the learning point.

Materials
•    Notecards (approximately 30 for every two people)
•    Marker or pen (one for every two people)
•    Article (There is one at the end of this lesson.  You may want to choose a different article better suited to your participants’ level of knowledge.  It should be written with unfamiliar vocabulary in order to provide a challenge in understanding the message.)
•    Quiz with 10-15 questions and answers (There is one at the end of this lesson, or you can prepare your own based on the article that you choose.)
•    Prizes (optional)

Preparation
•    Read through the article to make sure you are familiar with it.
•    Create your quiz if you are using a different article than the one provided.
•    Divide the group into pairs, and give each pair a marker/pen and a stack of the notecards.
•    Ask someone to be your ‘Distractor’ – the person who will steal ideas from Short-Term Memory

Procedure
Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:
•    “Brain research shows that the short-term memory is only able to hold seven pieces of information at any one time and that it can only hold each piece of information for about 20 seconds.”
•    “In that 20 seconds, your short-term memory is doing three things:

1.    Trying to understand (“decode”) the message
2.    Dealing with distractions
3.    Learning and transferring the information to long-term memory”

•    “In order to learn new things, you have to overcome challenges in understanding the message and dealing with distractions, and you only have 20 seconds to do it with each piece of information.”
•    “If you don’t learn that information and transfer it to long-term memory in 20 seconds, your brain dumps it and replaces it with something else.”
•    “If more than seven pieces of new information are presented to you at one time, your short-term memory will dump new information even faster as new information replaces ‘old’ information.”
•    “It’s amazing that we ever learn anything, right?”
•    “For teachers, presenters, facilitators and trainers, this is a challenge to how we typically present things we want people to learn.”
•    “If we cover the information too quickly, they won’t get it.”
•    “If we don’t make it simple enough for them to quickly understand it, they won’t get it.”
•    “If they are distracted by fellow students, personal problems, discomfort, irritating habits that the trainer has, etc…, they won’t get it.”
•    “Let’s play a game that will demonstrate how tough this really is.”
•    “I’ve divided you into pairs and given each pair a stack of notecards and a pen/marker.”
•    “In your pairs, select one person to be ‘Short-Term Memory (STM)’ and one person to be ‘Long-Term Memory (LTM).’” (Allow time for them to select roles.)
•    “I’m going to read an article out loud.”
•    “As I read, STM will use the pen/marker and the notecards to write down the most important ideas from the article.”
•    “I won’t tell you what those ideas are.  You have to decide for yourself.”
•    “Once STM has written the idea down, he/she will hand it to LTM.”
•    “LTM will take the idea, read it and place it face-down in front of him/her.”
•    “It doesn’t matter how LTM chooses to organize the ideas.  That’s up to him/her.”
•    “When STM writes down an idea, that represents understanding the information (decoding).”
•    “When STM hands the idea to LTM, that represents learning transfer.”
•    “That alone will be challenging, but there’s one additional challenge you will have to deal with.”
•    “I’ve asked ______ to be our ‘Distractor.’”
•    “His/her job is to walk around the room and steal ideas away from STM.”
•    “Distractor can take the idea when it’s being written or when it’s being passed.”
•    “The idea isn’t safe until it is face-down in front of LTM.”
•    “If Distractor tries to steal an idea, you have to give it to him/her – he/she is much too powerful for you!”
•    “If Distractor steals and idea, STM can rewrite it if he/she wants to, or he/she can skip it and move on to the next idea.”
•    “At the end of the game, you will be given a test.”
•    “After I ask each question about the article, LTM will have three chances to find the card that has that information on it.”
•    “STM is not allowed to help.”
•    “It’s possible that LTM won’t even have the answer, since LTM was dependent on STM to write down the correct ideas.”
•    “If LTM picks up the wrong card, he/she should return it face-down to the table.”
•    “If
•    LTM picks up the right card, he/she can put it to the side.  It counts as one point.”
•    “The team with the most points at the end of the test wins.”
•    “What questions do you have?”  (Answer any questions.)
•    “Okay, let’s play!”  (Read the article at a normal pace as the STMs write down the most important parts.  ‘Distractor’ should roam around the pairs stealing ideas when possible but not taking so many that it completely discourages the participants.  When you are done, give the test.  After the test, find out which team has the most points, and award a prize if you wish.  Then, have the participants discuss the following debrief questions in their original groups or in their pairs.  Debrief as a large group.)

Debrief
o    What made that difficult?
o    How was that like the challenge a learner faces when he/she hears new information?
o    What could we do to help more information move successfully between STM and LTM?

Quiz
1)    What do shadow puppet craftsmen typically use to smooth out the puppets? (a glass bottle)
2)    What is the Indonesian term for ‘shadow puppets?’ (wayang kulit)
3)    Less expensive puppets that are sold to children during shows are typically made of what? (cardboard)
4)    The Punakawan is a family of characters in Javanese shadow puppets, and they are often referred to as what?  (clown-servants)
5)    What are three sources for the shadow puppet stories? (the Ramayana, the Mahabharata or the Serat Menak)
6)    What tools did shadow puppet theater traditionally use to project and display the image of the puppets? (cotton screen and an oil lamp)
7)    What is the most common light sources used today to project the shadow puppets’ images in Java? (halogen electric lights)
8)    What is the Indonesian word for ‘skin?’  (kulit)
9)    Which city in Central Java is most famous for its style of puppets? (Surakarta or Solo)
10)    Which parts on the shadow puppet typically move? (upper and lower arms)
11)    How long does it take a crew of craftsmen to make ten shadow puppets? (one week)
12)    Puppets are supported with carefully shaped __________ and control rods. (buffalo horn handles)

ARTICLE – “Wayang Kulit”
(Source – Wikipedia)

Wayang kulit, shadow puppets prevalent in Java and Bali in Indonesia, are without a doubt the best known of the Indonesian wayang. Kulit means skin, and refers to the leather construction of the puppets that are carefully chiselled with very fine tools and supported with carefully shaped buffalo horn handles and control rods.

The stories are usually drawn from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata or the Serat Menak.

There is a family of characters in Javanese wayang called Punakawan; they are sometimes referred to as “clown-servants” because they normally are associated with the story’s hero, and provide humorous and philosophical interludes. Semar is the father of Gareng (oldest son), Petruk, and Bagong (youngest son). These characters did not originate in the Hindu epics, but were added later, possibly to introduce mystical aspects of Islam into the Hindu-Javanese stories. They provide something akin to a political cabaret, dealing with gossip and contemporary affairs.

The puppet figures themselves vary from place to place. In Central Java the city of Surakarta (Solo) is most famous and is the most commonly imitated style of puppets. Regional styles of shadow puppets can also be found in West Java, Banyumas, Cirebon, Semarang, and East Java. Bali produces more compact and naturalistic figures, and Lombok has figures representing real people. Often modern-world objects as bicycles, automobiles, airplanes and ships will be added for comic effect, but for the most part the traditional puppet designs have changed little in the last 300 years.

Historically, the performance consisted of shadows cast on a cotton screen and an oil lamp. Today, the source of light used in wayang performance in Java is most often a halogen electric light. Some modern forms of wayang such as Wayang Sandosa created in the Art Academy at Surakarta (STSI) has employed spotlights, colored lights and other innovations.

The handwork involved in making a wayang kulit figure that is suitable for a performance takes several weeks, with the artists working together in groups. They start from master models (typically on paper) which are traced out onto kulit (skin or parchment), providing the figures with an outline and with indications of any holes that will need to be cut (such as for the mouth or eyes). The figures are then smoothed, usually with a glass bottle, and primed. The structure is inspected and eventually the details are worked through. A further smoothing follows before individual painting, which is undertaken by yet another craftsman. Finally, the movable parts (upper arms, lower arms with hands and the associated sticks for manipulation) mounted on the body, which has a central staff by which it is held. A crew makes up to ten figures at a time, typically completing that number over the course of a week.

The painting of less expensive puppets is handled expediently with a spray technique, using templates, and with a different person handling each color. Less expensive puppets, often sold to children during performances, are sometimes made on cardboard instead of leather.

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Filed under activity, distractions, exercise, Game, Games that Teach, learning, memory, Mind, Overcoming obstacles, thinking, thoughts

Finding Measures (GAME)


Audience

Teens and Adults

Time

15-20 minutes
Description

This game challenges team members to find ways to measure their progress towards a goal when the way to measure their progress is unclear.

Scriptures

2 Corinthians 10:12

 

Materials

  • Graduated pitcher (or any container for liquid that shows measurements along the side)
  • Unmarked pitcher or water bottle that holds 30 or more oz (one per team)
  • Multiple containers for liquid of various sizes
  • Water source or pitchers filled with water (one per team)
  • Permanent marker
  • Prizes for the winning team (optional)

 

Preparation

  • Find out how much water each of your various containers of different sizes can hold, and write it down somewhere.
  • Place these containers around the room inconspicuously.
  • Put the unmarked pitcher or water bottle and the pitcher of water at each table.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to play a game that deals with measuring your progress.”
  • “At each of your tables, I have place a pitcher of water and an empty water bottle (or pitcher).”
  • “Your goal is to fill the empty container with exactly 29 oz of water.”
  • “I have a graduated pitcher here at the front that I will use to test whether or not you have been successful.”
  • “However, it’s not enough just to measure your final result.”
  • “You also have to measure your progress at the following increments:
    • 5, 8, 15, 21, 24, 29 oz”
  • “When you think you have measured out each of the increments, come to me, and I’ll test it with the graduated pitcher.”
  • “You have to successfully measure out each increment before you can move on to the next one.”
  • “The first team to successfully measure out all the increments and reach 29 oz wins.”
  • “What questions do you have?”  (Answer questions, but don’t answer any questions that deal with how much different containers in the room hold yet.  You can let them know that they can use any containers they can find but only if they ask.  Then, allow them to start the game.  Provide no direction unless directly asked, and only tell how much the different containers hold to individuals.  One of the lessons that you are trying to teach is the need for them to take initiative to determine their own way of measuring their success.  When a team has successfully finished the challenge, stop the game and have teams answer the following debrief questions.)

 

Debrief Questions & Discussion

  1. What was challenging about the game?
  2. How did you solve the problem of measuring your progress?
  3. Were you guessing, or did you know for sure what your progress was?
  4. What about this game was similar to trying to find ways to measure your progress with your work or ministry?
  5. What lessons can you apply to your work or your ministry?
  6. (If you want to work in the Scripture from above:  What happens when we try to measure our progress by comparing ourselves with others?)

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Filed under Evaluation, Feedback, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, impact, Management, Performance