Tag Archives: Games that Teach

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

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

Negotiation Game (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

30-40 minutes (longer if you use the Bible study at the end)
Description

This game teaches about negotiation skills and going for win-win.  It has elements of a “Gotcha” activity (an activity where participants are set-up to fail in order to create an awareness of a learning need).  Teams compete with each other and often end up doing worse overall than they could have done if they had cooperated and gone for win-win.

Scriptures

o  Genesis 18:1-33

Materials

o  Flipchart and marker

o  Notecards that say “Win-Win” on one side and “Win-Lose” on the other (one per team)

o  (Optional) Projector, Computer and Screen to display PowerPoint slides with the rules and the debriefing questions.  You can access these by downloading the file “Negotiation Game – Slides” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at http://www.teachingthem.com.)

o  (Optional) Prizes for the highest-scoring team.

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Write “Win-Win” on one side of each of the notecards.

o  Write “Win-Lose” on the other side of the same notecards.

o  Draw a score chart on the flipchart.  It should look like this (add more columns if you have more teams):

Team #1 Team #2 Team #3 Team #4
WW / WL Points WW / WL Points WW / WL Points WW / WL Points
Round 1
Round 2
Total After 2 Rounds
Round 3
Total After 3 Rounds
Round 4
Total After 4 Rounds
Round 5
Final Score

Procedure

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

  • “Let’s play a game about negotiation.”
  • “In this game, your team will have two choices: go for Win-Win or go for Win-Lose.”
  • “Win-Win means that you want to win but only if the other teams can win, too.”
  • “Win-Lose means that you want to win even if it means that another team might have to lose.”
  • “In a perfect world, we would always go for Win-Win, but this isn’t a perfect world.”
  • “I’m going to give you incentives for going for Win-Lose that will make you have to think hard about what you want to do.”  (Share slides on the PowerPoint if you want to.)
  • “Each round, your team will decide if it wants to go for Win-Win or Win-Lose.”
  • “You will make your decision known by holding up this card.” (Show one of the notecards, and show both sides so that they can see their choices.  Pass out one card to each team.)
  • “If ALL the teams go for Win-Win, the facilitator gives each team 100 points.”
  • “If more than half the teams go for Win-Lose, the facilitator takes away 100 points from every team.”
  • “But if less than half the teams go for Win-Lose, the facilitator gives the Win-Lose teams 200 points and takes away100 points from the Win-Win teams.”
  • “We will play five rounds.”
  • “Each team should now select a Negotiator.”
  • “This person will meet with the Negotiators from the other teams before each round and have three minutes to come to an agreement about what strategy to take.”  (Allow teams to select a Negotiator.  This person will have to be the Negotiator for the entire game.)
  • “What questions do you have before we start to play?”  (Answer questions.  Then, give the Negotiators time to meet outside the room for three minutes.  Afterward, have them come back to their teams.  On the count of three, have the Negotiator on each team raise their card with the side that has their choice (Win-Win or Win-Lose) facing you.  Record these choices on the flipchart, and assign scores to each team.  Then, allow 5 minutes for the team to discuss changes to their strategy before starting the process over again and sending the Negotiators outside the room.  Run all five founds.  If everyone is choosing Win-Win, you can add pressure by doubling the point amounts for a particular round.  When you’ve finished the game, award a prize for the highest scoring team if you want and have the teams discuss the Debriefing Questions below (and also on the 2nd PowerPoint slide.)

Debriefing Questions

• What makes the win-win strategy difficult?

• What are the problems with the win-lose strategy?

• How should we handle it when we are going for win-win, and someone takes advantage of us?

• Why should we strive for the win-win strategy?

Idea for Bible Lesson

If you want to do this game is connection with a Bible lesson, try having participants read Genesis 18 and answer the following questions:

1.    What did Abraham do before the negotiation that helped make it successful?

2.    What did Abraham do during the negotiation that helped make it successful?

3.    Was Abraham going for Win-Win or something else?  Why do you think so?

4.    Why do you think Abraham stopped at ten?

5.    Could he have gotten the Lord to agree to a lower number?  Why do you think so?

6.    What practices of good negotiation can you use in your negotiations?

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Filed under Abraham, Abram, competition, Game, Games that Teach, Intercession, Negotiation

High-Performing Numbers Game (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

20 minutes
Description

This game is a “Gotcha” activity. (A “Gotcha” is a training activity that is designed to create a paradigm shift in the participants’ minds.  It is set up so that the participant will fail in order to create an awareness of their need for training on the topic, and it is usually done before the topic is introduced so as not to give away important information.)

 

This “Gotcha” is taken from Ken Blanchard’s and Sheldon Bowles’ book, High Five!: None of Us Is As Smart As All of Us (and slightly modified).  It is intended to help participants see the need of having a good system for working together and clear roles in their teams.  Teams don’t become high-performing teams simply because they have talented individuals; they need good process, communication, feedback, encouragement, goals and other elements.

 

Scriptures

o  Nehemiah 3:1-32

o  Ephesians 4:11-12,16

 

Materials

o  A set of number cards for each team (You will need three 0’s, 3 9’s and one each of the numbers 1-8.  It’s okay to give them more numbers than they need, though.  Feel free to give them a full set each of 0-9.  You can print out the numbers from the file “High-Performing Numbers Game – Number Cards.ppt” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  Or if you’ve got a big budget, just buy a pack of playing cards for each participant.  If you do this, you will need three sets of playing cards per team.)

o  Scissors or some other cutting tool (if you use the printed numbers)

o  Printed instructions for each normal team (This page is included at the bottom of this lesson.  It’s the shorter one.)

o  A printed instruction sheet for your special team (This page is also located at the bottom of this lesson.  It’s the longer one with more detailed instructions.)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Print your number cards, and cut them out (if you are using the printed version).

o  Print your normal instructions (one copy for all but one of your teams) and your special instructions (one copy).

o  Read through the instructions on the special page so that you understand how the game works and why the team you choose to be the special team should be able to win most of the rounds of the game.  (Two members of the team will only have to choose between raising a 0 or a 9.  The third member will know a trick that makes it easier to know which number to raise, and he won’t have to wait to see what the others raise in order to know his number.)

o  Group the number cards and instructions into sets.  (Make sure you remember which instruction set is special so that you know which team you give it to.)

Procedure

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

  • “Let’s play a game about teamwork.”
  • “I’m giving each group a set of numbers (or playing cards) and an instruction sheet.” (Pass out these materials.  Make sure that other teams don’t notice that their instructions are different from the special instructions.)
  • “I’ll give you a few minutes to read through your instructions, and I’ll come by your table to answer any questions you might have.”  (Go table-to-table to make sure that they understand the instructions.  You don’t want to answer questions as a group, because it might come out that one team has different instructions than the others.  When everyone understands how the game is played, start the game by saying a number between 0-27 out loud (see a recommended sequence below).  The team that wins is the first team to get three numbers in the air that correctly add together to total the number you say out loud.  Award one point to that team.  Keep saying numbers until you’ve given them all.  Then, add up the team point totals and announce the winner.  TIPS: You may want to get someone to help you as a spotter to see which team is up first.  Also, it’s often easier to tell who was up first if the players have to stand and raise their number rather than just raise their number.  If you only have a few teams, put the players at the front of the room so that it’s easier to see who is up first.)
  • (After the game, you can debrief with the following:)
  • “I have a confession to make.”
  • “One team had different instructions than the rest of you.”
  • “This team (point out the special team) knew a trick for getting their numbers up faster.”  (Allow someone from the team to explain the trick.)
  • “I played a trick on you to make a few points that I would like you to remember.”

o   “Having a team with smart or talented individuals is good, but it’s not as good as having a team with a really good system or way or organizing the work.”

o   “There have been many professional sports teams that were full of superstar athletes but who were unable to win a championship.”

o   “That’s because a high-performing team is more than a collection of superstars – it’s a team, which means that the individuals work together.”

o   “The better a group of individuals work together, the more successful they can be.”

o   “And it’s possible…even probable…that a team of average players who work together in a high-performing way will out-perform a team of highly skilled individuals who don’t work together well.”

o   “So, now we need to do something very important.”

o   “I want everyone in the room to raise their right hand above their head.”  (Demonstrate and encourage them to follow your lead.)

o   “Now, point your hand out toward the front of the room.”  (Demonstrate.)

o   “And repeat after me…”

o   “In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior…”  (Wait for them to repeat after you.)

o   “We forgive you ______ (substitute your name).”  (Participants usually think this is funny, and it eases the tension some may be feeling because you tricked them into playing a game that they couldn’t win.)

Idea for Bible Teaching

You could use this activity along with Nehemiah 3 or Ephesians 4 (see Scriptures at the top of the lesson) to emphasize how important it is that everyone does their appointed role on a high-performing team or to emphasize how well things work when you have a good system in place for teamwork.

 

Suggested Number Sequence and Correct Number Cards for “Special” Team

Number You

Call Out

“A” Person “B” Person “C” Person
25 9 9 7
17 0 9 8
12 0 9 3
19 9 9 1
22 9 9 4
8 0 0 8
14 0 9 5
11 0 9 2
26 9 9 8
23 9 9 5
4 0 0 4
18 0 9 9
16 0 9 7
24 9 9 6
6 0 0 6
13 0 9 4
21 9 9 3
27 9 9 9

Instructions

o  Pick three people on your team to play, and give them the number cards.

o  The Facilitator will call out a number between zero and twenty-seven. 

o  The three players should hold up number cards that add up to the number the Facilitator calls out.

o  No player can hold up more than one card.

o  All three players must hold up one card.

o  The first team to get the sum right wins. 

 

 

 


Instructions

o  Pick three people on your team to play, and give them the number cards.

o  The Facilitator will call out a number between zero and twenty-seven. 

o  The three players should hold up number cards that add up to the number the Facilitator calls out.

o  No player can hold up more than one card.

o  All three players must hold up one card.

o  The first team to get the sum right wins. 

How to Be a High-Performing Team

o  Give each of your players a letter – A, B or C.

o   “A” person – Take only two numbers (zero & nine).  If the Facilitator calls out a number from zero to eighteen, hold up zero.  If it’s nineteen or more, hold up a nine.

o   “B” person – Take only two numbers (zero & nine).  If the Facilitator calls out a number from zero to nine, hold up zero.  If it’s ten or more, hold up a nine.

o   “C” person – If the Facilitator calls out nineteen, hold up a one.  If it’s a single-digit number, hold up that number.  If it’s a two-digit number, add the two numbers together and hold up the sum of those two numbers.

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Filed under Body of Christ, competition, Game, Games that Teach, team, teambuilding

StrengthsFinder Theme Sorting (GAME)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

15-20 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to become familiar with and remember the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder Themes through a competitive sorting activity.  Participants should have taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder or StrengthsQuest assessment at http://www.strengthsfinder.com.  You can get an access code by purchased their books, StrengthsFinder 2.0 or Strengths Based Leadership.

Scriptures

o  Romans 12:4-5

Materials

o  Cards with each of the StrengthsFinder Themes and their definitions (one set per team – you can find the file with these cards at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page in the file “Strengths Finder Theme Sorting – Cards.ppt.”

o  Scissors or other cutting tool

o  Envelopes (one per team)

o  Answer Key (at the bottom of this lesson and also in the file “Strengths Finder Theme Sorting – Answer Key.ppt” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.)

o  Flipchart or whiteboard

o  Marker

o  Prizes for the winning team (optional)

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Cut out the cards for sorting, and put one set per envelope (one per team).  You might want to number or name the envelopes to correspond to team designations.
o  Write the Debrief Question on a flipchart or whiteboard, and have them ready for the groups to review and discuss after the game.
o  Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Let’s do a competition that will help you to become more familiar with and to remember the 34 StrengthsFinder Themes.”
  • “I’m giving each team an envelope with all 34 Themes and their definitions.”  (Pass out the envelopes, but instruct them not to open the envelopes until you give the signal.)
  • “When I say go, work with your team members to match each Theme to its definition.”
  • “The team that finishes earliest with the least number of mistakes wins.”
  • “I will only check your answers once, so make sure that they are correct before you ask me to check them.”
  • “When you say you are done, I will tell you what order you finished in, i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc…”
  • “Finishing first doesn’t mean you win.  You have to have the least amount of mistakes.”
  • “If there is a tie for least amount of mistakes, the team that finished earliest will win.”
  • “Any questions?” (After addressing questions, let the teams open their envelopes and start sorting.  When they finish, they should notify you, and you will tell them what place they finished in.  This doesn’t guarantee a win.  The most important thing is that they have the fewest mistakes, but if there is a tie for fewest mistakes, the team who finished earlier will win.  After you have checked their answers using the Answer Key below, declare a winner and offer them a prize if you wish.  Then, have the teams work through the Debrief Questions below.)

Debrief Questions

1. Read Romans 12:4-5.  This Scripture continues to talk about spiritual gifts.  Do you think its truth also applies to our Strengths?  Why or why not?

2. Why do you think God made us so differently?

3. What does it mean, “each part of the body belongs to all the other parts?”

4. How can we live this Scripture more intentionally in the future?


Answer Key

A. Developer

B. Competition

C. Belief

D. Adaptability

E. Arranger

F. Communication

G. Context

H. Discipline

I. Empathy

J. Achiever

K. Command

L. Deliberative

M. Focus

N. Consistency

O. Connectedness

P. Activator

Q. Analytical

R. Woo

S. Relator

T. Includer

U. Input

V. Restorative

W. Learner

X. Strategic

Y. Positivity

Z. Significance

AA. Responsibility

BB. Harmony

CC. Intellection

DD. Maximizer

EE. Ideation

FF. Individualization

GG. Self-Assurance

HH. Futuristic

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Filed under diversity, Game, Games that Teach, Icebreaker, memory, Strengths

Under the Radar (GAME)


Audience

Teens, Adults

Time

30-35 minutes
Description

This game helps participants to understand how challenging it is to get feedback “in under the radar” without raising the intended recipient’s defensiveness.  Participants will enjoy trying to get beanbags into a target.  The beanbags represent their feedback, and the target represents the recipient’s heart.

Scriptures

o  Proverbs 15:1, 18; 21:23

Materials

o  Beanbags (three per team – if you can’t find beanbags to buy, you can make simple ones with small ziplock bags or drawstring bags filled with beans or rice)

o  Posterboard (1 sheet per team)

o  Markers (2-3 – Red, Green and Black if you want it)

o  Masking tape

o  Note cards (3 per team)

o  A bag or pouch with material that you cannot see through (1 per team)

o  Scissors

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Create a target on the posterboard.  Start with a 6” x 6” circle in the middle.  Then draw concentric circles around it, making each new one about 6” bigger all around.

o  Write point values in each of the circles.  The center circle is worth 50 points.  The next, bigger circle is worth 25.  The next, bigger circle is worth 15.  The next one is worth 10, and if you have any edge left on the poserboard, you can mark that worth 5 points.

o  Buy or make your bean bags.

o  Place the posterboard targets on the ground, and mark a boundary for the throwers with a piece of tape on the floor.  It should be about 8-10 feet away from the target.

o  Mark three more lines of tape on the floor at 25%, 50% and 75% of the way between the throwing line and the target.

o  Cut the notecards in half, and put a large, colored dot on each one (Make 3 with RED dots and 3 with GREEN dots for each group.)

o  Mix up the 6 half-cards, and put them into a bag/pouch.

o  Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Giving feedback isn’t easy.”
  • “We want our feedback to be taken to heart by the person we are giving it to.”
  • “Their heart is our target.”
  • “If the feedback doesn’t make it to their heart, they won’t do anything about it.”
  • “And even when we give feedback with a pure heart and a desire to help the other person, there is no guarantee that our feedback will hit its target.”
  • “There are many things that can rise up and block our feedback from reaching its target, and one of the most common obstacles is defensiveness.”  (Ask a volunteer to come to the front and represent the person to whom you want to give feedback.)
  • “When we are trying to send our feedback to its target…”  (Demonstrate “feedback” flying through the air in the direction of the volunteer with your hand.) “…if we don’t skillfully send it into the target area, the person’s defensiveness radar will see it coming….”  (Have the volunteer make a beeping sound to represent a radar system, and ask them to speed up their beeping as you get closer.) “…and the defensive walls will go up!”  (Have the volunteer put up their hands and block your feedback from reaching its target.  Then, thank and dismiss the volunteer.)
  • “So, let’s play a game that demonstrates this difficulty.”
  • “It’s called ‘Under the Radar,’ and your goal is to throw a beanbag onto a target to earn points.”
  • “You will have to stand here at this line to make your throw and try to hit that target.”  (Demonstrate so that participants get the idea.)
  • “That would be challenging by itself, but it’s more difficult than that.”
  • “I’m going to divide you into a team of three and then make you compete against another team of three.”
  • “Three people will get a chance to throw their ‘feedback’ onto the target, and the team that they are competing against will get a chance to block them.”
  • “Here’s how it will work.”
  • “Each person throwing will get three chances to hit the target, but before they throw, they have to draw three cards out of this bag.”
  • “Inside the bag are eight (6) notecards – three with RED dots and three with GREEN dots.”
  • “If they draw a card with a RED dot, the other team gets to put a person on one of the strips of tape between the throwing line and the target.“
  • “This person represents defensiveness on the part of the person receiving the feedback.”
  • “They have to stand on the tape, but they can do whatever they can from that point to try to block your ‘feedback’ from reaching its target.”
  • “If the person throwing draws two RED dots, two of the opposing team get to stand on the tape marks (different ones).”
  • “If he/she draw three RED dots, three of the opposing team get to stand on the tape marks.”
  • “If less than three RED dots are drawn in the three draws, not all opposing team members will get to stand on the tape marks.”
  • “Those not on tape marks are not allowed to interfere with the throws.”
  • “GREEN cards are good for the throwing team and keep the opposing team off the tape marks.”
  • “After drawing three cards from the bag, the thrower should make three throws and see how close to the center of the target that he/she can get while trying to avoid the defenses of the opposing team members on the tape marks.”
  • “After that team member has made their three shots, add up the total points.”
  • “Then, move the opposing team members off the tape marks, and let the other two team members take turns drawing three cards and take three throws while avoiding the defenses of any opposing players who get onto tape marks because of RED dot cards.”
  • “When all three team members have thrown, the opposing team gets their turn to throw and see how many points they can accumulate.”
  • “The team that has the most total points (from all nine throws) wins.”
  • “Any questions?” (After addressing questions, divide the group into groups of three and pair up the teams of three against each other.  Then, have them choose who will throw first and let them play.  When they are done, recognize or reward the winning teams, and have them return to their seats to work through the following debrief questions.)

Debrief Questions

1. What was challenging about the game?

2. If you compare the game to giving someone feedback, what comparisons can you make?

3. What types of things make people’s defensiveness go up?

4. How can you give feedback in a way that won’t make people defensive?

5. Read Proverbs 15:1, 18 and 21:23.  Do these Scriptures give you any additional ideas?

Summary

  • “Sometimes, you only get once chance to send that feedback in there, so you want to make sure that it has the best chance possible of hitting it’s target.”

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Filed under acceptance, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, discipleship, Evaluation, Game, Games that Teach, Hands-on, heart, Humility, leadership, Relationships, self-image, Spiritual Growth, team, Transformation

The Legend of the Candy Cane (GAME)


Time
15-20 minutes (or more, depending upon how many times you play)

Audience

Children & Youth

Description

This matching game is a fun one to play at Christmas.  It takes the elements of “The Legend of the Candy Cane” (apocryphal) and uses it to make connections between the popular Christmas candy and truths about Christ.  Even though the widely circulated story of how the candy cane originated is not true, we can still find meaning and symbolism in the candy that will help us to appreciate our Savior.

Scriptures

  • Exodus 12:22-23
  • Psalm 51:7
  • Isaiah 53:5
  • Matthew 1:23, 5:12, 26:28
  • John 10:11
  • Romans 6:4, 9:33
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21

Materials

  • Printouts of “Legend of the Candy Cane – Cards.ppt” (available at www.teachingthem.com on the Lesson and Material Downloads page).  There are enough cards in the printout for two teams.  If you will have more teams competing, you will need more copies.
  • Scissors or a paper cutter (to cut out the cards)
  • A simple, red-and-white candy cane to use as an example
  • Flipchart or whiteboard and markers
  • Optional: If it bothers you that participants will be able to see the images through the paper, you might want to use a heavy stock of paper, or you might even want to glue the cards to cardboard or posterboard before cutting them out.
  • Optional: Small prizes for the winners – I recommend candy canes to fit with the theme.
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print out the cards.
  • Optional: Glue the cards on top of the cardboard or poster board (to prevent participants from being able to see the images through the paper).
  • Cut out the cards.
  • Sort the cards into sets.  (There are two identical sets in each printout.  Most matching games have you match identical cards, but in this matching game, participants will match a characteristic of the candy cane with its meaning/symbol.  So, each set will contain one of each of the following cards: “White,” “Red,” “The Rock,” “J-Shape,” “Stripes,” “Peppermint,” “Hard,” “Sweet,” “Hyssop,” “Sinless,” “Blood,” “Shepherd,” “Born of a Virgin,” “By His Stripes,” “Jesus,” “Wash Me Clean,” “New Life,” and “Heaven.”
  • Shuffle the cards, and lay them out in three rows of six cards each.  (The cards should be laid out face-down.”)
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Have any of you ever heard “The Legend of the Candy Cane?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “It’s this story that has been sent around the internet and on different websites about how the candy cane was created and why.”
  • “It says that a man created the candy cane to be a witness to Jesus Christ and that each of the characteristics of the candy cane pointed to our Lord.”
  • “Unfortunately, some people checked out the story, and it turns out not to be true.”
  • “The candy cane has been around for about 300 years, and it started out as just a simple candy.”
  • “However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t find symbols of Christianity in the candy cane.”
  • “Many times, God uses something to bring glory to Himself even when mankind didn’t intend to give Him glory.”
  • “I think the candy cane can definitely bring glory to God.”
  • “Let’s look at it more closely.”  (Hold up a candy cane for the participants to see.)
  • “What are some of the things you notice about the candy cane?”  (Hold up you hand to show that you want them to raise their hands to be recognized one at a time.  As you call on them, you might want to write what they say on the flipchart or whiteboard.  Then, ask them to tell you what this characteristic might represent in the Christian faith.  Several characteristics will have two meanings.  You will have to give them some guidance, but let them come up with as many as they can.  The main responses you are looking for are written below.
    • White = Sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21); Born of a Virgin (Matthew 1:23)
    • Red = Blood (Matthew 26:28)
    • Hard = The Rock (Romans 9:33)
    • J-Shaped = Jesus, Shepherd’s staff (John 10:11)
    • Stripes = By His stripes… (Isaiah 53:5)
    • Peppermint = Hyssop (Exodus 12:22-23), Washes Me Clean (Psalm 51:7)
    • Sweet = New Life (Romans 6:4), Heaven (Matthew 5:12)

There may be additional connections that the participants can make, but they won’t be included in the matching game.  As you make the connections, you might want to have someone read the Scriptures listed above.  Some Scriptures may need a little background information to connect them to the symbol.)

  • “See!  We came up with at least eleven connections between Christianity and the candy cane!”
  • “That can’t be accidental.  God must have hidden these truths in the candy cane for us to find.”
  • “Now, let’s play a game to help us remember these connections.”
  • “It’s a matching game, like when you turn a face-down card over and then try to remember where its match might be.”
  • “How many of you have played a game like this before?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “I’m going to divide you into teams before we play.”  (Divide participants into evenly-sized groups – as much as possible – based on how many sets of cards you prepared.)
  • “Here’s how it is played for those of you who haven’t played before.”
  • “Each team has a set of 18 cards, placed face-down in front of you.”
  • “Your goal is to match all the different sets before the other teams do.”
  • “You will do this by turning over two cards at a time.”
  • “You will take turns on your team being the person who turns over the cards.”
  • “Once you turn them over, you cannot change which cards you’ve chosen.”
  • “I will look at the two you’ve chosen and tell you if you have a match or not.”
  • “If you have a match, I will let you make a set and take the cards off the board.”
  • “Sometimes, you may match two cards that actually need a third card to make the set.”
  • “You will be able to tell if there is a third card when there is a #3 in the corner of the two cards you have turned over.”
  • “Whenever this happens, I will let you turn over one more card to see if you can make a full set.”
  • “If you turn over the third card, I will let you remove the cards from the board.”
  • “If you turn over two (or three) cards that don’t match, you will have to turn them back face-down in the same place you found them.”
  • “After I’ve looked at all the cards, we’ll go to the next turn, and someone else in your team will turn over the cards.”
  • “The first team to match all their sets wins!”
  • “Do you have any questions?”
  • “Are you ready to play?”  (Start the game.  Do one round at a time, so that you will be able to tell which team wins.  If you have a prize picked out for the winners, you can hand it out then.  If you finish quickly, you can shuffle the cards and play again.  For a more challenging game, you might want to combine two sets of the cards to make a total of 36 cards for each team.)

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