Category Archives: Group Dynamics

Remember the Titans (MOVIE MENTORING)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

3 hours
Description

Remember the Titans deals with race relations in the 1970s in Virginia, when black students were bussed into white schools.  A black coach is appointed to lead a high-school football team, and he and other members of the team struggle with the prejudice and racism that threatens to ruin their chances at a successful season.

The movie is relatively safe to show to teens and with different types of audiences.  There is minimal swearing and only one inappropriate scene (where Sunshine, kisses Bertier in the locker room).  Sunshine is apparently trying to be provocative.  It does not appear that the character is actually homosexual, and homosexuality is not glorified.  Christianity is shown in both positive and negative ways.  Some Christians act in prejudiced or racist ways, but others (particularly Rev and Louie) put Scripture to song to encourage the other players.

These questions are for teaching about high-performing teams.

Scriptures

These Scriptures speak to some of the themes of the movie. 

o  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

o  Hebrews 10:24-25

Materials

o  Copy of the movie

o  Equipment for showing the movie (TV, DVD player, LCD projector, Speakers, Screen…)

o  Question Sheet (attached)

o  Popcorn and drinks (optional)

Preparation

o  Print out copies of the question sheet for each individual or group.

o  Set up everything for viewing the movie.  (Be sure to test it all out to make sure that the movie plays well and that the sound can be heard by everyone.)

o  Prepare snacks. (optional)

 

Procedure

Watch the movie.  Then on your own, with a mentor or with a group, answer the questions on the Question Sheet.

Question Sheet

1.     What were some of the challenges that the Titans faced as their coaches tried to make them into a team at the beginning of the movie?

2.     What did the coaches do that was helpful in shaping the players into a team?

3.     What did the coaches do that was harmful to their goal?

4.     What did the players do that was harmful to teamwork?

5.     What did Julius Campbell (the leader of the black students, played by Wood Harris) mean when he told Gerry Bertier (the leader of the white students, played by Ryan Hurst) that “attitude reflects leadership?”

6.     How did this feedback impact their relationship and the team?

7.     What was the turning point for the team?  Why do you think so?

8.     What were some characteristics of the Titans when they became a high-performing team?

9.     What challenges did the team face after they became a high-performing team?

10. How did they respond to these?

11. What kinds of changes do individuals need to make in order to become part of a high-performing team?

12. What do you think is the most important lesson that you can take away from this movie?

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Filed under Challenges, Change, Character, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, Coping skills, courage, diversity, Fear, forgiveness, Group Dynamics, Healing, leadership, Relationships, team, teambuilding, teamwork, Trust, unity

Shared Resources (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

20-25 minutes
Description

This game teaches that we often need to share resources in order to be successful.  Competition with others outside the team is usually productive, but competition within a team can create a lose-lose outcome for all involved.

Scriptures

o  Acts 2:42-47

 

Materials

o  Flipchart and marker

o  Large, open space to play

o  Mats of some type

o   They can be pieces of cardboard or posterboard, table mats or even newspaper or flipchart paper.

o   You will need one per participant, plus one extra per team.  For example if you have four teams of five people each, you will need 20 mats (one per participant) plus four mats (one extra per team) for a total of 24 mats.

o   They should be large enough for one person to stand on (i.e., about 2’x2’).

o  (Optional) Prizes for the winning teams.

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Clear the open space of any obstacles.

o  Divide participants into teams of similar size (5-8 is best).

o  Identify a starting line and a finishing line. It should be across the room and a significant distance away.

o  Count out the mats for each team.  They should have one more mat than people on their teams.  It doesn’t matter if teams are not the same size.  If you have three teams with five people and one team with six, the three teams should have six mats, and the fourth team should have seven mats.

o  Space the mats out along the starting line.  Keep them close enough together that teams will be able to pass mats back and forth between them.

o  Write the debriefing questions (at the end of this lesson) on a flipchart, but conceal them until it is time to debrief.

 

Procedure

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

  • “We are going to play a game about sharing resources, and we will do it twice.”
  • “The first time, your team will be in competition with the others, and we will see how can get from the Start Line to the Finish Line first.”
  • “I’ve put mats out along this Start Line.”
  • “Your goal is to travel to the Finish Line only stepping on the mats as you go.”
  • “It might not sound too difficult, but I have a few additional rules to share.”
  • “You can never have more than one person on a mat at a time.  In other words, no sharing mats.”
  • “Your feet must never touch anything except for a mat as you go from the Start Line to the Finish Line – no standing on other peoples’ shoes, no stepping on the floor, no using other objects as mats – these are the only mats you can use.”
  • “If you break a rule, you have to go back to the Start Line and begin again.”
  • “Each team has one more mat than you have people.”
  • “So the way that you will move is that people in the back will pass a mat forward to the leader.”
  • “The leader will step on the new mat, and everyone behind him will step forward to stand on the mat of the person that was in front of them.”
  • “Eventually, you will fill up all but one of your mats.”
  • “Pass that mat from the back of the line to the front of the line, and everyone will be able to take another step forward.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?” (Answer any questions.)
  • “Okay, get ready, get set……..GO!”  (Allow teams to race.  Make sure they are following the rules.  Send a team back if it breaks a rule. When a team has crossed the Finish Line, declare them the winner and have everyone return to the Start Line.)
  • “Now, let’s do it again, but this time, I’m going to take away some of your mats.”  (Select groups, and take away one mat from each of them.  You can even take away two mats from one team to add more difficulty to the challenge.  Leave two groups with all their mats (including the one extra per team). )
  • “During the last race, success was beating the other teams, but this time, success is ALL teams crossing the Finish Line.”
  • “Unfortunately, not all teams are equally equipped, so you are going to have to find a way to share resources.”
  • “All other rules still apply.”
  • “What questions do you have?”  (Answer any questions.)
  • “Okay, get ready, get set………GO!”  (Allow teams to work together to reach the Finish Line.  They will have to pass the two extra mats between teams in order to be successful.  If you took two mats away from one team, they will need to permanently borrow one of the extra mats.  This will allow only one mat to be passed between teams, which will slow them all down.  However, it’s a good lesson on ‘we are only as strong as our weakest link.’  Without the extra mat, that team will get left behind.  After they have all crossed the Finish Line, you might want to award a prize to everyone for their teamwork or offer a prize to the team that won the first race.  Have participants regroup into their teams to discuss the following debriefing questions.)


Debriefing Questions

o  How did you resolve the issue of scarce resources?

o  Why is it important for us to share resources?

o  How can we do this better in our own groups/organization?

o  Read Acts 2:42-47.  How did the early Church handle resources?

o  What was the impact of this approach?

o  What other lessons can you take away from this activity?

 

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Filed under Apostles, competition, Game, Games that Teach, Group Dynamics, sharing, team, teambuilding, teamwork

Balls in the Air (TEAM BUILDING)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

20-30 minutes
Description

This team building activity helps teams learn how to work together through changes and difficult circumstances.

Scriptures

N/A

Materials

  • 5 tennis balls per team
  • Flipchart and a marker (optional)

Preparation

None

Procedure

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

(Divide the participants into groups of six, and give each group 5 tennis balls.)

(Have each team select a “feeder” (the person who throws the balls into the group).)

(Have remaining team members number off 1 to 5.)

(Then ask all number 2s to step into the hallway, so that they don’t hear the instructions.)

(Share the following directions with the feeder, and Members 1, 3, 4, and 5 from each group.)

o  “The purpose of this activity is to work as a team and learn to work together even without the use of verbal communication.”

o  “The goal of the activity is to get as many tennis balls in the air at one time as possible.”

o  “Ultimately, the goal is to have all five tennis balls in the air at one time and to include Member 2 as a valuable team member without the use of verbal communication.”

o  “Team members 1, 3, 4 and 5, please stand in a circle, and leave a space for Member 2.”

o  “The feeder will stand outside the circle and toss the tennis balls into the circle.”

o  “You will toss balls in the following sequence:

o   The feeder will toss a tennis ball to Member 1.

o   Member 1 will toss the ball to member 4.

o   Member 4 will toss the ball to member 2.

o   Member 2 will toss the ball to member 5.

o   Member 5 will toss the ball to member 3.

o   Member 3 will toss the ball to member 1.”

o  “This will create a star pattern.”

o  “When you get comfortable tossing one ball, the feeder should add the other tennis balls in, one-by-one, until the group can handle all five tennis balls at once.”

o  “We will try this several times, and each time, you will have three minutes to pass the balls.”

o  “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.)

o  “Remember, you can’t say anything to Member 2 when he/she comes back in the room.”

o  “I’m going to invite the 2’s back in.”  (Invite the 2’s back, and have them join the circles that their teams have made.)

o  “Okay, feeders, begin.”  (Have the feeders pass their first ball into the circles.  After three minutes, call a time out, and ask these questions:

o  “How many balls did you get in the air?”  (Ask each team; you can record their responses on a flip chart if you wish.)

o  “What obstacles are making it difficult for you to achieve your goal?”

o  “What is the impact on your team’s ability to reach its goal if one member is not clear about his/her responsibility, or if one member is unaware of the team’s purpose or goals?”

o  “Let’s do it again, but before we start, I’ll give you a few minutes to talk about how you can improve.”

o  “You can now share information with your #2’s.”  (Allow 3 minutes for strategy planning.)

o  “Okay, let’s try again.”  (Allow two minutes for the beginning of another round. After two minutes, stop the exercise and say the following. NOTE: If you are running this activity with teens or children, you may want to stop before this next part or make up different reasons for adding these new challenges.)

o  “Your organization has experienced some turnover; number 3s, please move on to the team nearest you.”  (After the groups have traded their number 3s allow 1 minute for them to continue the exercise.  After the minute, say the following.)

o  “Your organization has decided to decentralize and open a satellite office in another country; number 4s, please take 10 steps backward and continue to be part of the work process helping your team to meet its goals.”  (Allow the groups to continue the exercise for two minutes.  Then, say the following.)

o  “In order to reduce overhead at corporate office, your organization needs to downsize.  Number 1s, you have all been laid off.  Please move over into the unemployment line (left side of the room).” (Allow the groups three minutes to continue the exercise. Then, stop the activity, and have all participants return to their seats.  Debrief the activity using the following questions.)

Debrief Questions

o  “How many tennis balls did you get in the air during the last challenge?”

o  “For those who got closer to the goal, what contributed to your ability to improve your results?”

o  “If passing on advice to new employees, what lessons that you learned from this activity would you share?”

o  “What lessons are there in this exercise that you might take back to your organization’s teams?”

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Filed under Challenges, Coping skills, Focus, Game, Games that Teach, Group Dynamics, team, teambuilding, teamwork

Draw the Pig Personality Test (ICEBREAKER)


Time

15-20 minutes
Description

This fun icebreaker can be an energizing way to engage participants.  It’s a “personality assessment,” but it’s just for fun; there is no scientific value to the results.

Materials

  • Paper for each participant
  • Pens, pencils and colored markers for each participant
  • Printout of the “Pig Analysis” sheet (at the end of this lesson)

Preparation

None

Procedure

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

  • “Let’s start out our time together by getting to know each other.”
  • “We’ll do it in a funny way.”
  • “On the sheet of paper that each of you has, I would like you to each draw a pig.”
  • “Make it as detailed as you like.”  (Allow 5 minutes for drawing the pig.)
  • “Now that you’ve drawn your pig, I’m going to help you do some analysis to see what your drawing tells us about you.”  (Read each of the descriptions on the “Pig Analysis” sheet.  Keep it light and fun.)
  • “Take a few minutes, and share your Pig Analysis with your table.”
  • “Tell them if you think it is accurate or not.”
  • “So, what do you think?  Does your Pig Analysis match your personality?”
  • “Okay, this was not a scientific instrument, so any truth it contained was probably accidental….or was it?”  (You might want to have participants put their names on their pictures and post them around the room.)

Pig Analysis

If the pig is drawn:

 

Toward the top of the paper – You have a tendancy to be positive and optimistic.

 

Toward the middle – You have a tendency to be a realist.

 

Toward the bottom – You have a tendency to be pessimistic and may be
prone to behaving negatively.

 

Facing left – You have a tendency to believe in tradition and be friendly; you may also be prone to remembering dates well.

 

Facing Right – You have a tendency to be innovative and active, but may be prone to forgetting dates easily and may not have a strong sense of family.

 

Facing front – You have a tendency to be direct, and may enjoy playing the role of devil’s advocate; you also are prone to neither fearing nor avoiding confrontational discussions.

 

With many details – You have a tendency to be analytical, but may also be prone to being cautious to the point that you struggle with trust.

 

With few details – You have a tendency to be emotional and to focus on the larger picture rather than focusing on details. You also have a tendency to be
a great risk taker and may sometimes be prone to reckless and impulsive decisions.

 

With less than 4 legs showing – May indicate that you are living through a major period of change and as a result you may be prone to struggling with insecurities.

 

With 4 legs showing – You have a tendency to be secure and to stick to your ideals; however, others may describe you as stubborn.

 

With large ears – Indicates how good of a listener you are (the bigger, the better).

With a long tail – Indicates how intelligent you are (the longer, the better)

 

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Filed under Body of Christ, Character, Church, diversity, Fun, Group Dynamics, Humor, Icebreaker, Oneness, Relationships, self-image, team, teambuilding, unity

On the Bus (FEEDBACK)


Purpose

This activity helps the facilitator to know the level of commitment participants have for an idea.  It gives participants an opportunity to share their opinion and express their concerns so that the facilitator can speak directly to those issues.

Setup

  • Draw or write the following levels of commitment on cards and place them on the walls around the room.

1.     Still at home

2.     Headed out the door

3.     At the bus stop

4.     Boarding the bus

5.     In my seat and ready to go!

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 3 minutes.

Activity: 10-15 minutes

Procedure

  • Explain that we are going to do a feedback activity to find out where everyone is at in regard to what you’ve been covering.
  • Point out the signs around the room, and explain the meaning of each one according to the following descriptions:

1.     Still at home – not interested

2.     Headed out the door – open to hearing more

3.     At the bus stop – willing, but need some questions answered

4.     Boarding the bus – willing to go along for the ride

5.     In my seat and ready to go! – fully committed and ready to help make it happen

  • Ask participants to get up and go to stand where they think they are at present with regard to how they feel about the idea, vision, goal or project.
  • When everyone has picked out a spot, ask some of them to explain why they are standing where they are.
  • Then ask them what would help them move from where they are to a more committed place. (These additional insights can be really helpful for uncovering things the group might not have thought of and can be used to clarify certain aspects of the project that people want to do.)

 

 

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Filed under Commitment, Evaluation, Feedback, Group Dynamics