One teacher had each group of 8-9 children line themselves up in order of their birthdays – without speaking. The red team had themselves sorted in less than two minutes. The orange team just about got it, but neglected to include one of the younger members of their team. She stood near the end of the line near the October and November kids and, when the time came, announced that her birthday is in February.
In another classroom, the children were instructed to spell a few words with their bodies. In some cases, the words contained more letters than there were children on the team. It was great to watch them work this out. Some used their bodies to create more than one letter, others used their hands to spell out the words.
The children were also asked to see which group could create the tallest tower out of their shoes. There were the typical groans about stinky feet, but again it was great to see how some teams worked well together and others, not so much. The winning team figured out if they removed their shoelaces, they could use them to help tie up and support their tower.
My favorite, because it was outside on this magnificent, spring day, was one called Robot, Navigator, Mime. Each team had two mimes, one navigator and one robot. The robot was blindfolded facing an open field on which a golf ball was placed. The navigator stood with his or her back to the robot and was not allowed to look at the field. The mimes stood behind the navigator, facing the field, but were not allowed to talk. In order to direct the robot to a golf ball in the field, the mimes had to give instruction to the navigator who was then allowed to yell directions to the robot. This activity was the true test of team work, and demonstrated that the kids have a long way to go in that area. Fortunately, it was also a lot of fun, and they needed that today, too.