Tag Archives: puzzles

Annimuzzles (ICEBREAKER)


Time

45-55 minutes
Description

This icebreaker takes longer than most to facilitate, but it can be a fun way to start an event where it is important for the group to think creatively.  Participants will work together in teams to create puzzles from their own illustration of different types of animals.  Another team will solve the puzzle.

 

Materials

·      Sheets of blank paper (1 per team)

·      Notecards (3×5 inch – 31 per team)

·      Markers (several colors per team)

·      Masking tape (1 roll per team)

·      Prize for the winning team (optional)

 

Preparation

·      Use one notecard from each team’s supply to write down the type of animal they have to draw.  Here are some suggestions for what you can write on the cards (but feel free to make up your own):

o   Tasty Animal

o   Smart Animal

o   Arctic Animal

o   Australian Animal

o   African Animal

o   Ugly Animal

o   Unfriendly Animal

o   Mythical Animal

o   Dangerous Animal

o   Farm Animal

Procedure

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

  • “Let’s do an icebreaker!”
  • “I need everyone to line up in order from least to greatest by your answer to this question: ‘How many pets have you owned over your lifetime?’”
  • “Those with the most should be on this side of the room.”  (Pick a side and point to it.)
  • “Those with the least should be on this side of the room.” (Point to the other side.  Allow them to sort themselves out.  Then debrief by finding out how many pets various people had.  Finally, divide the participants into groups by having them number off and having like numbers get together.  Make sure that there are no more than six people per team.  When they are in their teams, hand each team some markers, a sheet of paper and their 31 notecards, including the one with the assignment written on it.)
  • “I’ve handed each group 31 notecards, some markers and a sheet of paper.”
  • “On the top notecard is your assignment.”
  • “You are to work together to draw that type of animal on the blank sheet of paper.”
  • “Once you are happy with it, you are going to make a larger version of the same drawing on your 30 remaining notecards.”
  • “It’s easiest if you lay the notecards out side-by-side like a big canvas and then draw the picture on them.”
  • “You will be making a puzzle that another team will have to solve.”
  • “There are some rules you have to follow as a team:
    • Each person on your team must draw on at least four cards.
    • There must be some drawing on every card.  (It’s okay if it is background or landscape – it doesn’t have to be the animal itself.)
    • You will have only 20 minutes to make your drawing.”
  • “When your drawing is complete, shuffle your notecards.”
  • “When I give the signal, you will give them to another team, and we will see who is able to solve the puzzle first.”
  • “The first team to solve their puzzle will be the winner!”
  • “What questions do you have?”  (Answer questions, then let them begin drawing.  When it comes time to pass the cards, you can have them pass them in any order you want as long as every group gets a set.  Make sure everyone starts solving at the same time.  When you have a winner, award the prize, if you chose to have one.  Then, have groups debrief using the following three questions.  After they are done, you can use the tape to tape the puzzles on the back so that they can be hung for everyone to see.)

Debrief Questions

  1. What was challenging about that activity?
  2. What would have made it easier?
  3. How is this like the work and challenges you experience in your teams?
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under creativity, Energizer, Facilitation, Fun, Game, Icebreaker, Teaching, team, teambuilding, teamwork

Easter Stations of the Cross (EXERCISE)


Time

30 min

 

Description

This activity teaches about the events leading up to the resurrection of Jesus.  It doesn’t follow all the traditional stations of the Catholic version but rather focuses on the most important events for sharing the Easter story.

 

Scriptures

Matthew 26-28

 

Materials

  • One copy of each of the puzzles that represent the different Stations of the Cross.  You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  The file is called, “Easter Stations of the Cross – Puzzles.ppt”
  • Scissors or cutting tool
  • 12 Ziplock bags (sandwich size)

 

Preparation

  • Printout one copy of the puzzles.
  • Cut along the outlines of the puzzle pieces.
  • Put each set of puzzle pieces into a Ziplock bag.
  • Create the following “Stations” around the room by setting out the appropriate puzzle at each Station:
  1. Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  2. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested.
  3. Jesus is tried by the Sanhedrin.
  4. Jesus is denied by Peter.
  5. Jesus is judged by Pilate.
  6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns.
  7. Jesus takes up his cross and is helped by Simon.
  8. Jesus is crucified between two thieves.
  9. Jesus promises the thief eternity in paradise.
  10. Jesus dies on the cross, and the veil is torn in two.
  11. Jesus’ is removed from the cross and buried.
  12. Jesus rises from the dead.

 

Procedure

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

  • “Some Christian traditions have a ritual called, Stations of the Cross.”
  • “The Stations are different places in a room, or on a road or in a building that you walk to and then stop to think about Jesus and how much He loves you.”
  • “The Stations each have a description, and they are usually about different events related to the Easter story.”
  • “Today, we’re going to go through some of the most important events (or Stations) and learn about what happened during that part of the story.”  (Divide the group into twelve smaller groups, and assign each one to one of the Stations.  If you have less than 12 people, you can assign multiple stations to each person.  Have these groups or individuals go to different stations and put the puzzles together.  They should then read the Scriptures on their puzzle and be ready to summarize that part of the story when the group reaches that Station.  After all the puzzles are done, gather everyone back together, and go through the Stations in the order listed above.  As you reach each station, allow everyone to look at the picture, and have the person or group who completed the puzzle summarize the story for the larger group.  When you’ve finished all the stations, you can sing the Alleluia chorus or do a short wrap-up lecture on the importance of the resurrection.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Easter, Jesus, Judas, Resurrection, Simon-Peter

God’s Dream


Time

45-60 minutes

Description

This is game that helps participants understand that God’s dream for their lives has to be discovered and that it usually requires the help of others to complete.  It was developed for adults but can be modified for use with children (see ideas at the end of the lesson).

 

Materials

  • Large puzzles with at least 50 pieces each (The puzzles can be different, but they should be similar in size and shape.)
  • Masking tape
  • Ziplock bags (optional)
  • Signs that say, “MENTOR.” (One per table group.)
  • Prizes for the winning team (optional)
  • Flipchart, whiteboard (and markers) or LCD projector and screen

 

Preparation

·      Teams should be arranged at tables with 6-8 participants each.

·      Open each puzzle and remove 10-12 pieces.

·      Mix these up.

·      Carefully tape four pieces (each) to the bottom of different chairs around the room.  (You might want to put them in a Ziplock bag to protect the pieces.)  Make sure that they cannot be seen.  Each of these chairs should have pieces from several different puzzles taped underneath.

·      Label the back of these chairs, “MENTOR” (just one per table – if you have more pieces than will fit under the “MENTOR” chairs, tape them under other chairs, but don’t label those chairs, “MENTOR.”)

·      Take any remaining pieces (that you pulled from the puzzles) and mix them in with other puzzles around the room.

·      Put the rest of the puzzle pieces in a bag or box (but not a box with the picture on it) in the center of each table.

·      Keep the pictures of the completed puzzle in the teaching area at the front of the room.

·      Flipchart the Debrief Questions at the end of this lesson (but keep them hidden until the activity is done).

·      Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

·      “We’re going to put some puzzles together.”

·      “These puzzles represent God’s dream for your life.”

·      “At your tables, one of the chairs says, “MENTOR,” on the back.  Those of you sitting in those seats are now the “Mentors” for your teams.”

·      “Can I see the “Mentors” outside the room for a minute?”  (Go outside room with “Mentors” and tell them about the hidden pieces under their chairs.  Ask them not to reveal this secret unless someone (from any table) specifically asks them about the missing pieces.  If they are asked any other question, they can answer it as long as it doesn’t reveal that there are hidden pieces under their chairs.  They are not to participate in the puzzle building unless asked to do so.  Also, let the “Mentors” know that you have the pictures of the completed puzzles at the teaching area in the front.  If anyone asks about them, the “Mentors” can come get the pictures and take them back to their tables.  Allow the “Mentors” to return to their groups.)

·      “Okay, you can start putting your puzzles together.  The first team to finish wins!”  (Allow at least 30 minutes for puzzle building.  If a team finishes, observe whether or not they try to help other teams.  If no one asks the “Mentors” about the missing pieces after 20 minutes, you can drop some hints until they catch on.  When everyone is done, award prizes (optional) and ask the teams to work through the debrief questions on the flipchart.  Allow 15 minutes.  Then do a large group debrief on what lessons they will take away from the activity.)

 

Debrief Questions

o   “What helped or hindered your team’s success?”

o   “What might you do differently if you had it to do over again?”

o   “Were the mentors important in completing the puzzle?  Why or why not?”

o   “If the puzzles represent God’s dream for your life, what do the pieces under the chairs represent?”

§  “How could this be a metaphor for the way God reveals His will?”

§  “What do the pieces at other tables represent?”

§  “What do the pieces that didn’t fit into your puzzle represent?”

o   “Did anyone try to determine if someone at the table was actually skilled at putting puzzles together?” 

§  “Why or why not?”

§  “Does this say anything about the way we approach the subject of mentors?  Explain.”

o   “How important are other people in solving our problems?”

o   “What lessons can you take away from this activity?”

 

Possible Modifications for Children

·      When working with children, consider the following changes to make it more relevant for them:

o   Instead of having “MENTORS,” you might label the chairs “PARENTS,” “TEACHERS,” or “CHRISTIAN FRIENDS.”

o   Rather than do a debrief at table groups, you might prefer to lead the questions from the front of the room in order to keep the children focused.

o   Some other debriefing questions you might ask could be:

§  “How does God show us His plan for our lives?”

§  “Why doesn’t God just tell us His whole plan when we are young?”

§  “Why does God give some of the pieces of our puzzle to other people?”

§  “Have you ever helped someone discover a piece of their own puzzle?” 

·      “How did that feel?”

·      “How did you find out that you had a piece of their puzzle?”

o   You might have the children finish by drawing pictures of God’s dream for their lives.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Game, Games that Teach, God's dream, God's Plan, God's Will, Hands-on