GROUP WORK ACTIVITIES
These activities are designed to teach various group work and leadership skills likecommunication, listening skills, creative thinking skills, problem solving, etc. Some are similar toinitiative tasks in that there is some type of problem to solve but the problems are a little differentfrom some big group challenge. They are more along the lines of figuring out how to make a groupmore effective. Most of these activities can be done in the classroom and tend to be a little lessactive than some of the other sections.One of the things that I tell my students or any other group that I am working with is thattheir ability to work well with others is going to be one of the most important skills they will learn inschool.
People that can‟t work well with others often find themselves unemployed.
It‟s surprisinghow many people, adults and children, don‟t understand the importance of being able to work withothers, even those they don‟t get a l
ong with or like.
I am always pointing out that in today‟s worldof technology, the one thing that hasn‟t changed is the fact that most accomplishments still require
more than one person to pull it off. When I drive over a bridge, I want to know that there werehundreds of people who were working well together that designed and built it.Just like any other skill, group work needs to be learned. Very few individuals cometogether in a group for the first time and know how to work effectively with each other. It is a skillthat should be taught in schools but too often it is taught by putting students in groups and havingthem work together on some project without ever really teaching them how to work together in thatgroup.
That‟s where this section o
f this book comes in. One of the best methods to teach people
how to work together is to first have them work as a team on tasks that aren‟t really all that
important but allow for specific lessons on what is successful and not so successful group work.
That‟s what you will find in this section.
As you use this section with your different groups and teams, make sure that you spend thetime before and after each activity to analyze the results with your different groups. While youcould just pull out some of these activities to fill in the time and have some fun, that defeats thepurpose of the tasks. The very first activity includes some common games like Charades which atfirst glance is nothing more than a fun party game but if used properly can facilitate a discussion on
what is effective communication and what happens when it doesn‟t occur.
As part of teaching group work, you also need to teach about the different positive andnegative roles that can exist in a group.