Explain the objective of the activity before each participant picks up three (or four) letters from the pool.
Each participant is required to place all of his or her letters down into a word puzzle by or before the fifth round of play. The word puzzle will be a "scrabble-like" configuration. Letters are spelled left to right or top to bottom (see the second and third pictures). All words must be connected to at least one other word when the puzzle is complete.
Pair up your participants (either in some sort of creative way or purposeful pairing).
NOTE: I designed this activity before working with a "couples" groups - couples that have been married for less than a year. They were lead by a mentor couple that had been married for 11 years. Lots of great talking points about "marriage" bubbled to the surface.
All participants will be standing (or sitting) together in a circle formation. Each participant is required to be standing next to his/her designated partner. When the circle pairing is set, have everyone go over to the pool of letters to pick up what they want (without discussion their choices with anyone) and then return to the circle formation (each player standing next to his/her partner). You might consider setting a time limit for picking up letters?
The game is played in a series of Rounds - five or six depending on the number of letters you allow everyone to pick up (the more letters the more rounds). In each Round each participant/player gets one turn to make one of the Possible Moves (even if he/she is not holding a letter).
Overall Round Rules:
Words will "grow" as players take turns adding letters. You'll need to decide how you will evaluate valid words. If you are a "Scrabbler" you can play by Scrabble rules - you may need to explain these to your group. You could also make up your own guidelines for valid words. I use a the smartphone app WordBook. I tell my group, "If I can find the words you create on my app they will count as valid words." (NOTE: One of the two groups so far did ask me during play if certain words would be valid - they used me, and the app, as a resource during their process. Good stuff!)
Round 1 (5 minutes)
Round 2 (10 minutes)
Round 3 (10 minutes)
Round 4 (10 minutes)
Round 5 (5 minutes)
Here are a few observation points and related questions I've used after the two times I presented 3 Down:
Okay team builders, give this one a try. Ask me questions if you need clarification. Call me up if you want to talk about 3 Down. Let's get some more Beta Testing going on this one to see if any changes are needed. THANKS!!
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
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This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.
Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.