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 littledifferent from some big group challenge. They are more along the lines of figuring out how tomake a group more effective. Most of these activities can be done in the classroom and tendto be a little less active 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 learnin school.
People that can‟t work well with others often find themselves unemployed.
It‟ssurprising how many people, adults and children, don‟t understand the importance of beingable to work with others, even those they don‟t get a l
ong with or like. I am always pointing out
that in today‟s world of 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, Iwant to know that there were hundreds of people who were working well together thatdesigned 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 askill that should be taught in schools but too often it is taught by putting students in groups andhaving them work together on some project without ever really teaching them how to work together in that group.
That‟s where this section o
f this book comes in. One of the bestmethods 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 spendthe time before and after each activity to analyze the results with your different groups. Whileyou could just pull out some of these activities to fill in the time and have some fun, that defeatsthe purpose of the tasks. The very first activity includes some common games like Charadeswhich at first 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.