This fun energizer gets people up, moving, and making funny sounds as they mimic what animals sound like where they are from. Different cultures often have different sounds for the same animal, and the differences can be surprising and quite funny sometimes. This energizer works best with an international group.
- Acts 2:1-12 (Pentecost – …how is it that each of us hears them in our own language?)
- Revelation 7:9 (…great multitude…from every nation, tribe, people and language…)
- Printout of the slips of paper on the next page
- Print the next page, and cut it into slips. (Cut out just enough slips for the number of participants you have, and try to use the same number of slips for each animal if possible. It’s not necessary to use all the slips or all the animals.)
- Fold the slips, and mix them in a bowl.
Use the following procedure:
- Have everyone draw one of the slips of paper from the bowl.
- Instruct them not to share the type of animal written on their slip.
- When you say, “GO!” they should circulate around the room making the sound of that animal from their culture.
- Without using any other sounds, words or gestures (and without showing their slip of paper to anyone), they should try to form groups made up of participants who all have the same animals.
- When everyone has formed up in groups, have them share their animal to see if they are in the right group.
- If they are in the wrong group, let them move to the right group.
- Give the groups time to talk about the different sounds and why they think animals seem to make different noises in different cultures.
- If it fits with your goals for your program, debrief with the following questions and points:
- Would any group like to share how different the sounds were for your animal?
- We often see and experience the same thing in different ways when we are from different cultures. Why do you think this is true?
- What can we learn from this experience?
- Why do you think God created us with such diversity? (You may want to reference the Scriptures at the top of this page.)
- How should we think or act differently when we encounter cultural differences in the future?
Source: Michael Kientz (www.teachingthem.com)
In your table groups, read through the Scriptures below and then answer the following questions.
o 1 Corinthians 4:7 (what do you have that you did not receive?)
o 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 (not one part, but many)
1. What can we learn from these Scriptures about our different strengths and talents?
2. How should we think about our strengths and weaknesses as a result?
3. How should we think about others’ strengths and weaknesses?
4. Is it true that if one part of the Body suffers, every part suffers with it? Why do you think so?
5. How can we show “equal concern for each other?” (1 Corinthians 12:25)
40-60 minutes (or more, depending upon how many cultural dimensions you choose to use)
Teens or adults who interact with people of different cultures or are planning to do so
This game illustrates the differences between the many different cultures of the world. It borrows from the research of Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner and the writings of Craig Storti. Facilitators can benefit from having some familiarity with the different cultural dimensions before conducting the game.
The materials contain many more cultural dimensions than you probably want to cover in one game. You can pick out the ones that are most relevant to your group, or you might want to run this game at different times during a multi-day meeting.
The “Cultural Continuums – Answers” file focuses largely on Europe and Asia, because that was the context for the group for which this game was developed. However, additional flags are provided in the “Cultural Continuums – Flags” file, and the full statistics for each continuum are in the Notes section of the PowerPoint slide. You can change the flags with this information.
- Flag cards – one set per team (These are available in the file “Cultural Continuums – Flags” on the Lessons and Downloads page at www.teachthem.wordpress.com.)
- Answer key (This can be found in the file “Cultural Continuums – Answers” on the Lessons and Downloads page at www.teachthem.wordpress.com.)
- Rolls of masking tape (one per team)
- Print out copies of the flag cards (one copy per team)
- Review the facilitator notes on the Notes section under each slide in the “Cultural Continuums – Answers.”
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “You may remember the story of the Tower of Babel.” (Ask a volunteer to read it out loud from Genesis 11:1-9.)
- “This Scripture is the birthplace of cultural diversity.”
- “Never again would mankind all speak the same language or observe the same cultural practices – at least not until Christ returns, and probably not even then will we give up the cultural practices that make us unique.”
- “So, let’s see how different we’ve become.”
- “We are going to play a game to highlight the many differences among the various cultures of the world.”
- “I will briefly describe a continuum of a cultural dimension. (A continuum is something that goes from one extreme on one end to the other extreme on the other end.)”
- “After I’ve described it, you will take a group of flags (that I’m about to hand you) and stick them to the wall in the order that you think best represents where you think that country falls on the continuum.” (Hand out sets of flag pictures and tape to each group.)
- “Then, I will show you the ‘right answers’ on the screen at the front of the room.”
- “Just so that you know, the ‘right answers’ are based on the work of some cultural experts who have been studying different cultures for many years.”
- “You may not always agree with their findings, and that’s okay. We can talk about it during the debrief.”
- “Sometimes, countries had the same ranking or rating in their studies. In this case, the countries will be shown in the same place on the continuum I show you at the front of the room.”
- “Does anyone have any questions about how the game will work?” (Answer questions.)
- “Okay, let’s play.” (Do as many cultural dimensions as you like. After each one, you might want to ask the group members to explain why they ordered the flags in the way that they did. There will always be at least one country that wasn’t part of the study. You might want to focus on these and ask each group how they made their decision in regard to these countries. When you are done with all the dimensions, have the groups discuss the following questions. (You may want to post them on a flipchart.) Allow 15-20 minutes for discussion, and then debrief as a large group.)
- What do you think about the different cultural dimensions, and where the countries landed on the continuums?
- What was surprising to you?
- Is there anything that you disagreed with? Why?
- What do these differences mean for how we work with people from different cultures?
- What will you personally do differently as a result of what you have learned?
This object lesson teaches about how God created us all differently. It uses a little bit of water science to illustrate the different music God put in each of us.
- Ten identical glasses or jars
- Red, blue, and yellow food coloring (optional)
- Fork, spoon or something else you can tap the glasses with to get a musical note
- Water for the jars
- Scotch tape or masking tape
- Sharp marker
- Note card
- Table for the display
· Fill eight glasses/jars each with a different amount of water, and set them up on a table at the front of the teaching area. Space them evenly apart with enough room to tap their sides in-between them.
· Fill the last two glasses with the exact same amount of water, and set them aside for later use in the lesson. Do not color the water in these two.
· Test the sound of each jar by lightly tapping it on the side or rim with the fork, spoon or other implement. Each glass/jar should make a distinct sound like the different notes on a scale.
· Use the food coloring to make the water in each jar a different color. You can arrange them in the colors of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – but you will need one extra shade of color for the eighth glass. (Optional)
· Number the glasses/jars by putting a piece a tape on each one and writing the number on the tape. The fullest glass/jar is #1, and the least full glass/jar is #8. The number goes on the teaching side of the glasses so that the child will be able to see it to play the music.
· On the note card, write the sequence of numbers for playing the songs (see final page of this document).
· Practice the script and using the glasses/jars to get just the right notes.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “For this activity, I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Take volunteer from the group.)
- (To volunteer…) “Look at the table, and tell me what you see.” (Listen to response, and comment.)
- “What do you notice is different about all these glasses/jars?” (Listen to response, and comment.)
- “So, they have differently colored water in different amounts, right?”
- “I think they may have another difference, too. Take this fork (or spoon, or whatever), and lightly tap the side of a few of the glasses/jars.” (Allow child to tap two or three glasses/jars.)
- “Did you hear that? They made different sounds!”
- “Does anyone know why that happens?” (Listen for responses, and comment. You may need to offer a fuller explanation…)
- “Tapping the glasses/jars makes them vibrate, and the vibration produces a sound. The water slows down the vibrations, so the more water, the slower the vibrations will be. A slow vibration gives us a low note, and a fast vibration gives us a high note.” (If you are using jars with a small opening, you can also demonstrate that if you blow across the top of them, they will produce sounds, as well. However, the effect will reverse. The jars with the least amount of water will give you the lowest notes, and the jars with the most water will give you the highest notes. That’s because you are vibrating the air this time and not water or the jars.)
- “Let’s see if we can play a song with them.” (Lay out the notecard for the song(s) you selected in front of the child, and help him or her to play the song(s).)
- “That’s fantastic! Can we get a round of applause for our virtuoso musician?” (Lead applause.)
- “Now, what do you think would happen if al the glasses/jars had the same amount of water in them?” (Take responses from group. Then bring out the two extra glasses/jars that have the same amount of water in them.)
- “I think you’re right – they would all make just one note. Let’s test it.” (Have volunteer test the theory by tapping on the two new glasses/jars.)
- “How fun is that? Could you play any songs if all the glasses/jars played the same notes?” (Take responses.)
- “Nope, you couldn’t play any songs. Wouldn’t it be boring if all your music only had one note?” (Imitate what this would sound like by pretending to sing a song with only one note in it.)
- “Isn’t it much better to have multiple notes to play?”
- “Well, I think that is how God feels, too, and that’s why he made all of us so different from each other.”
- “All of us are like different musical notes: we sound differently, we act differently, we look differently from one another, we like different things, we worship God differently, we pray differently, we have different talents and abilities…the list goes on forever!”
- “And you know what? It’s OKAY! In fact, it’s glorious! It’s God’s plan!”
- “One of the things I know about God is that He loves variety. I know that because of how different all of us are and how different all the plants and tress are and how different all the animals are…”
- “God loves variety. He made you different from everyone else, and He enjoys you that way.”
- “One of the traps we get into is wishing we were like someone else. ‘I wish I were handsome like him or pretty like her or rich like them or popular like those people…’”
- “And then we look at ourselves and think, ‘I’m not as good as those other people.’”
- “But let me tell you, that’s nonsense. The things that are different about you give God glory, because they show how creative He is.”
- “So, even the stuff you may not like about yourself could be part of God’s purpose and plan in your life. It could just be His creativity at work.”
- “Instead of not liking that part of you, you should ask God to help you see it the way He sees it. Then one day you will recognize how cool a thing it is!”
- “You uniqueness is like your own special musical note that no one else can play.”
- “So, anyone want to hear another song?” (Allow volunteer to play one to two more songs and then return to his/her seat.)
Notes for Songs
Mary Had a Little Lamb
321 2333 222 355
321 2333 322 321
333 333 35123
444 4433 332232 5
333 333 35123
444 4433 355 321
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
11 55 66 5 44 33 22 1
55 44 33 2 55 44 33 2
11 55 66 5 44 33 22 1
This Old Man
535 535 6543234
345 111 12345