Solving problems in fictional jungle settings
- Learning outcome
To communicate effectively with team members.
- Key Stubbington focus
Teamwork - communication
- For 7-11 years
- Duration 2 hours
- Success criteria
- I can share my own ideas
- I can explain what others have said
- I can respond appropriately to what others have said
- I can make a plan and budget
- I can adapt a plan when necessary
- Session plan
Introduction 20 minutes
Children are attempting to get eggs across the Amazon river via trebuchet in order to help Indians with a disease. Children are going to complete team building activities in order to earn credits (feathers) to use to buy materials to protect the eggs as they are thrown across the river.
Explain that the activities they complete will require them to think ‘outside the box’. What does this mean? Use whole group activity as an example (‘Hoop the Group’). The chn. have to move in amongst hoops and have both feet touching the ground in the hoop when instructed to by the teacher. Each time they manage this some hoops are removed, children have to become increasingly creative in order to fit in the remaining hoops. Once the children have completed the task the teacher can draw out the key learning that led to the problem being solved e.g. taking time to think, sharing ideas/information, listening to each other, listening to/understanding instructions.
Children are then toured around the various activities and shown the resources and the instructions for each task. Remind children that they will be working in small teams – which team work skills will they need to be successful? Elicit some key words from children and explain how/why they are important e.g. communication, co-operation, encouragement, perseverance, compromise. What should they do as soon as they get to each activity?
Discuss with children what this will involve – sitting together, reading out instructions, taking turns to suggest ideas, agreeing which idea to try first, having a back up plan in case the first plan doesn’t work out, agreeing which role everyone will take so that all of the team are included.
Split group into teams, ideally each with 6 members. Each group given a bag to collect feathers. They discuss and agree a team name and write it on a paper slip to be kept in the bag. Encourage the children to plan which activities they will prioritise (they may not have time to complete all).
Challenges 45 minutes
The 5 groups move around the activities and are awarded feathers each time they successfully complete a challenge. The children collect the feathers from a teacher and keep them safe in their team bag (labelled with team name). after approx 45 minutes, teachers collect in the team bags and the children have a break.
During the break, the feathers in each bag should be counted, eggs collected from the kitchen (1 per team) and the prices of materials available to buy should be written up on the whiteboard in the classroom.
Break 30 minutes
Design, Build and Test 45 minutes
Children find out how much they have to spend to buy materials to protect their egg. In their teams chn. design a capsule and then buy the materials, from the jungle shop, to construct the egg capsule (The children can use materials from outside the classroom if they show the initiative!) Additional feathers will be awarded to teams who show really clear plans. Children should show their plan to a teacher before purchasing materials. Encourage children to discuss how materials can be used creatively rather than just wrapped around the egg.
Once the capsule is complete the children carry their eggs to the hard football court where the trebuchet will be set up. Children should sit in their teams (half against the fence on the dormitory side, half with their backs to the adventure playground). Children must stay in place unless invited by an adult to bring their egg and capsule up for testing and remain in place until all of the eggs have been fired. Call up one group at a time. Once they have presented their egg, they return to their place. Slide the black safety bar out and once egg is in place, ensure the flight path is clear and you are standing to the side before pulling the arm back so it is horizontal and release. Repeat for all groups. When all eggs have been fired, collect them up and sit children in a large circle. Give out first egg and one of the team unwraps. If eggs are dripping, they should be placed on the ground and unwrapping stopped. When all capsules have been opened, count up the survivors!
Plenary 10 minutes
Remind children that the session wasn’t only about keeping the eggs from breaking but was also about working successfully as a small team. Remind children about the discussion at the beginning where they talked about the skills important for teamwork. Can groups give examples of how they did these things? Provide time for teams to discuss this before giving examples if necessary. Did any teams find something wasn’t working? What did they do?
Did any of the supervising adult notice any good teamwork examples?
Less able children
Should be supported through additional questioning by teachers and with help from their team.
More able children
Should be allowed the space to solve problems independently and encouraged to support those around them.
Researching how newspaper can be used in a variety of ways to create an effective protective layer.
Follow up activities
- Children recreate their capsules to create a display incorporating pictures of them completing the team building activities along with captions explaining how they solved the various tasks
- Follow up evaluation: did the surviving eggs belong to the teams with the most feathers? Did some materials protect better than others? What would they do differently if they did it again?
- Devise own team challenges to try at school
- Health and safety checks
- See Risk Assessments
- Children must not touch trebuchet (safety bar kept in place until use and brakes on)
- Children to use resources appropriately
- Be aware of egg allergies