3 Team Building Games for Collaboration and Critical Thinking by James Padlock
One of the biggest responsibilities of teachers is helping students prepare for their foray into the real world; and this preparation begins the moment the student first steps inside the classroom for the very first time. In other words, says coach and educator James Padlock, you begin to prepare them as early as kindergarten. These lessons, adds James Padlock, aren’t just the technical ones: math, science, reading, comprehension and so on. The more important lessons are in fact those that can help them navigate life more easily no matter where their careers may take them or no matter their situation or circumstance.
Collaboration and critical thinking are two highly important skills that will help students in their adult lives, both in their careers and personal life. These two soft skills are often honed and tested through group projects and assigned tasks. But the more fun, engaging and exciting way to teach and hone these skills is through team building games or activities. These not only liven up the classroom, says James Padlock, but they also encourage friendships as well as teach kids about respecting one another’s individuality and talents.
With that said, here are three team building activities that James Padlock have gathered to encourage collaboration and critical thinking in students. You can tweak these to fit your lessons.
1. Build It
This is by far one of the most popular team building activities for students, and in fact, you’ve probably come across this numerous times on the internet. It’s fun and effective that’s why James Padlock decided to include it in his list as well. The game involves giving each group of students the same set of materials. You specify the object that they need to build within a specific timeframe. Once the time is up, you can judge the works using different specifics like for instance, the most colorful, the tallest, most unique, etc.
2. Blindfolded obstacle course
This game involves creating a makeshift obstacle course inside the classroom. Divide your students into two or three groups, and let each one take turns on the course blindfolded. The team members will lead the blindfolded member through the course by way of verbal instructions.
3. Game of Clues
Everyone loves a good mystery, your students included. Give your students a mystery to solve like finding a lost object. Each group will be given one clue to start the game, which will then lead them to the next clue and so on. This is a great way to introduce a new topic or start lessons for the day.
You can tweak the themes of these games to fit your lessons, says James Padlock. The point is to give students something fun to collaborate on.