I just finished presenting a Noodle Mania workshops at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago - tons of fun with new and old friends! Here are a few of the workshop favorites:
Macro Scrabble The big/wide noodles hit the stores in the Spring. Pick up two or three and slice them with a bread knife - each piece about 1.5 inches wide. Use a wide-tip black permanent marker to write a letter on each noodle. When ready spread out all the letter chips and have your group create a huge scrabble-like puzzle with all the letters. Lots to do using these letter chips.
If you are a fan of Bananagrams, you can use your chips to play this scrabble-like game (click the active link for rules).
Immobile Chopsticks If you know the activity Channels or Pipeline, here is a version with noodles. Have a bunch of round spherical objects (e.g., tennis balls) in one area and an empty container in another area. Challenge the group to move the spheres and drop them into the container. The spheres can only touch the noodles. When a sphere is touching a noodle the person holding the noodle is not allowed to move his or her feet. If the sphere drops to the floor it must be returned to the start.
Here's a variation I've been using lately. I take an activity rope and lay it down on the ground in a curvy orientation - I even put in a loop-de-loop or two. This line is what I call the "pattern". Now, when the group is moving the sphere to the container the track of noodles, held over the top of the rope (not laying on top of the rope) must match the pattern - loop-de-lopps and all. Being able to bend the noodles can create all sorts of fun with this activity.
3-D Shapes This ones a variation of the classic Karl Rohnke activity Blind Polygon. Set out a large rope circle (or, like in the picture, use a painted circle on the gym floor), and place 12 noodles in the center. Have your group of 8 to 12 players stand outside the circle. The challenge is to create a three-dimensional cube held up off the ground. When the players enter the circle area they are required to close their eyes. In one version no directions on how to construct the cube can be given from a player with his or her eyes open (i.e., players standing outside the circle). Of course there are other variations to this challenge - I'm sure you can see th possibilities. Play this one requiring other three-dimensional configurations (be sure you have the right amount of noodles to .
For at least 97 more activities with foam noodles, check out the books, 50 Ways, and 50 More Ways to Use Your Noodle - go to the Resources page for more info.
Noodle favorites? Share them in the comment area below.
Have fun out there.
Pedagogy, in it's simplest form, is an educators collection of activities used for educating or instructing that impart knowledge or skill - it is what educators DO to transmit information to students. And, as far as I know, no one has found the "best" pedagogy for educating. One could argue that there are as many pedagogies as there are educators.
As I have written about in the past (Educators on the Challenge Course - look for the Essays), adventure practitioners are educators, and they too have pedagogies - ways of working with their groups that impart knowledge or skill.
Now, with the summer season looming in the near future it might be a good idea to call your pedagogy to order. What "activities" will you use to impart knowledge and skills to your staff so that they are able to find success as an educator? With the limited amount of time you have to train staff, what will be the most effective and efficient way to use your pedagogy?
A few months ago I ran across a useful blog post from FacultyFocus.com entitled "Using Guerrilla Tactics to Improve Teaching." The ideas from the authors of the post are relevant to any educator who is tasked with training other educators (please read the article for the finer details of the process). I've taken some editorial liberties to make the "ground rules for guerrilla teaching" fit into an adventure education model I will call "Guerrilla Training:"
As the Guerrilla Tactics blog authors note, "In the spirit of guerrilla marketing [a creative low-cost strategy to meet conventional goals] there are several educational "buzz" benefits created with minimal direct cost" - role modeling, collaboration, flexible training times, sharing expertise, "bits" of information instead of overload, and showing support for the trainee. This "drop-in" training allows for some relevant observation time for the trainee. Something that is difficult to building into training sessions but very important to include.
Making Guerrilla Training part of your training pedagogy might prove to be useful, effective, and efficient. Let me know how it goes. And, if you have other pedagogical training ideas for us please share in the comments below.
All the best,
On Sale Now!
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.
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.