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Team Building Activities For Lutheran Women in Mission

Things in Common Activity

Learning objectives: communication, relationships, sharing ideas
Suggested Group Size: 5-500 participants 
Supplies: Paper and pencil 
Directions: 

  1. Divide participants into groups of four or five people.
     
  2. Ask each group to appoint a scribe to take notes and be ready to read their results to the whole assembly upon completion of the assignment.
     
  3. Each group is to find 10 LWML related things they have in common with every other person in the group.
     
  4. Give the teams 7-10 minutes to complete the activity.
     
  5. Share the results verbally if you are in a smaller group. If your group is large, ask the scribes to submit their answers to the leader who will share the compiled results at a later time. These results may be helpful in future visioning exercises.

Discussion:  
What process was used in discovering commonalities?  
Do you feel you know the other team members better?  
What ideas shared could be used to improve your LWML group?


Design a Team Flag

This activity is perfect for board meetings, visioning sessions, or planning workshops.
Learning objectives: planning, goal setting, teamwork, communication, creativity
Suggested Group Size: 2-75 participants  
Supplies: may include fabric, paper, crayons, scissors, pipe cleaners, beads, yarn, wire, glue, tape or other craft supplies….be creative
Directions:

  1. Divide participants into teams of 6-8 people or divide into teams according to previously assigned committees. Ask each team to appoint a spokesperson who will share the team results at the end of the activity.
     
  2. Each team or committee will design a team flag that depicts how their group contributes to LWML. It could be an actual fabric flag or a picture drawn with crayons or markers.
     
  3. Give teams 15-20 minutes to plan and create a team flag.
     
  4. At the end of specified time, the team is to present their flag and explain the significance behind their design.

Discussion:  
What communication methods did your team use?  
Was everyone allowed to give their ideas and input on the flag design? 
Was there a plan or did you just ‚Äúwing it?‚Ä̬†¬†
How well did you work as a team?  
Did a leader emerge? Was it helpful to have a leader?

Variations:  Following the event theme, other items may be designed instead of a flag to describe the team’s mission. 
Examples: 

  • Beautiful Feet Theme ‚Äď Design a piece of footwear¬†
  • Fishers of Men Theme ‚Äď Design a fish or a fishing lure¬†
  • The Armor of God Theme ‚Äď Design a breastplate or a helmet

Additional supplies such a balloons, Legos, or modeling clay could be used to create a sculpture or 3-D image.


Paper-Tearing Exercise

Learning Objectives ‚Äď communication, following instructions, individual and group purpose¬†
Suggested Group Size: 1-500 participants 
Supplies: Letter size piece of paper for each person 
Directions: 

  1. Participants each hold a blank piece of paper in front of them. They are to close their eyes and follow your instructions without peeking. No questions allowed.
     
  2. While speaking the directions below, carrying them out yourself with your own sheet of paper. Pause after each instruction to give the group time to comply.
     
  3. First, fold your sheet of paper in half.
     
  4. Tear off the upper right-hand corner.
     
  5. Fold it in half again and tear off the upper left-hand corner of the sheet.
     
  6. Fold it in half again. Now tear off the lower right-hand corner of the sheet.
     
  7. After the tearing is complete, participants may open their eyes and unfold their paper.

Discussion:  
Do any of the papers look exactly the same? Why or why not?  
What would have been a good question to ask if you were allowed to speak?
Why is two-way communication important to achieving our goals? 


Balloon Tower Activity

Learning Objectives: planning, teamwork, creativity, encouragement, flexibility
Suggested Group Size: 4-60 participants 
Supplies: balloons and rolls of tape 
Directions: 

  1. Divide into teams of 2-8 participants.
     
  2. Give each team 20-30 of balloons and a roll of tape.
     
  3. Challenge the teams to make a freestanding tower using only the balloons and tape.
     
  4. Allow four minutes of brainstorming and planning. Do not permit teams to begin the building process until they are told to do so.
     
  5. Allow the teams to build for 8-10 minutes, giving time announcements at five minutes, two minutes and one-minute remaining.
     
  6. Measure the height of each tower.

Variations

  1. The teams are given four minutes to brainstorm a strategy but are not allowed to talk while they are building.
  2. Marshmallows and dry spaghetti may be used to construct the tower.

Discussion:  
How important was planning before attempting the tower?
Did you brainstorm different ideas? 
Did everyone have a chance to participate?  
Did your strategy work or did you need to be flexible?
Were your team members encouraging?  
What did you learn from the activity?


Arrange the Cards Activity

Learning Objectives: teamwork, communication, problem solving, strategizing, 
Suggested Group Size: 8-60 participants 
Supplies: 1 deck of cards for each group, image of card sorting order shown below and projector or poster board 
Preparation: Prepare a large poster or video slide of the following table. It will need to be big enough to be seen by everyone in the room. 

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Directions:

  1. Divide your participants into groups of 4-6 people.
     
  2. Distribute a deck of cards to each group.
     
  3. Explain the objective is to sort the cards as quickly as possible by placing them on the table face-up in the prescribed order. Stress the need for the cards to be in neat rows and columns.
     
  4. Put the prepared image as above up on a projector screen or unveil it on a poster that all groups can see.
     
  5. Immediately after revealing the table above, instruct the team to begin.
     
  6. Give teams five minutes to finish.
     
  7. Discuss the results: Did everyone in the team participate? Was there a strategy? Did it feel chaotic?
     
  8. Repeat the task, this time allowing teams a two-minute strategy session beforehand.

Discussion:  
What made the second round more efficient?  
Was there a leader?  
Did everyone participate?  
Was there a process?
How did you communicate during the process?
Were the teammates encouraging? 


Blind Drawing Activity

Learning Objectives: teamwork, verbal communication 
Suggested Group Size: 4 or more participants 
Supplies: Pencil and paper, a simple picture of no more than 2-3 objects
Directions: 

  1. Divide the group in partners.
     
  2. Have the two individuals sitting back-to-back.
     
  3. Give one person the pen and paper and the other person the picture. The person with the picture must describe the picture only as shapes and lines without actually saying what it is. For example, if the image is a worm in an apple, they might say draw a circle with a line on top and a squiggly line in the middle. They may not say, ‚ÄúDraw an apple with a worm in it.‚ÄĚ
     
  4. The person with the pen and paper must draw what they think the picture depicts, based on the verbal description.
     
  5. Set a time limit of 5-10 minutes.

Discussion:
Was this activity more difficult for the person drawing or the person describing the picture? Why? 
How could the person describing the picture have been more descriptive?  
How does our diversity affect communication? 

Variation: Give everyone a piece of paper and let everyone draw a picture of what the announcer is describing.


Game of Possibilities

Learning Objectives: creativity, nonverbal communication
Suggested Group Size: 4-200 participants. 
Supplies: random objects 
Directions: 

  1. Divide into groups of 4-8 people.
     
  2. Give an object to each participant. They must not show these objects to their teammates.
     
  3. One at a time, each person goes in front of the group and, without speaking, demonstrates a use for that object.
     
  4. The rest of the team must guess what the player is demonstrating.


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