Recently I ran across an old friend while following links through the educational blogosphere. Dr. Jackie Gerstein writes about educational technology at User Generated Education. Lots of great Ed Tech ideas for teachers. She uses a variety of useful tools in her blog that might interest educators in other fields as well. Could be a few more tools for our "activity toolbox."
A post that caught my eye right away was, "First Class Ice Breakers Using Mobile Devices" (the word Ice Breakers jumped right off the page!) This reminded me of the activity, 'Wallets" found in FUNN Stuff Vol. 2 (1996) by Karl Rohnke (Now in, FUNN 'N Games - see Karl's website for more about this massive activity book.)
For the Wallets activity, participants bring to the group their wallets (or any other valued possession they have with them at the time) and then share with the group the story behind something they keep in their wallet why it's valued. (I often set a story-telling time limit for each person so we can get to other things in the program.) After reading Dr. Gerstein's post, todays SmartPhones or any other mobile device could also be brought into the group in order to share something of value. For example, pictures of family and friends, a Google Earth map of your house or favorite vacation spot, or a picture of your favorite pet.
There is also another ice breaker I learned from Dr. Jim Cain called, "Where Ya From, Where Ya Been?" (You can find the full description in his Raccoon Circles download). Instead of using a Raccoon Circle (a long piece of webbing) to create a shape of a particular land mass, we can use a mobile device (that is of course if accessing the internet is possible) to pull up a map and show others where you're from or where you've been. (Of course it's not as tactile as manipulating a piece of webbing, but it's bringing in a little technology into adventure.)
Send us Ed Tech in Adventure ideas through the comments. Adding tools to the toolbox.
All the best,
Mark Collard, an adventure-based educator and trainer from Australia (he's been sharing his ideas so far at InspireYourGroup.com - see Resources), has recently opened up his new fee-based activity resource site (there are also some freebies). It's called Playmeo.
In a nutshell, here's why Mark thinks you'll love playmeo...
So far I've been browsing through the free activities. I might try out a membership soon. If you dive in please let us know what you think. Leave a comment.
All the best,
This late summer Saturday I got the urge to look into one path of the historical evolution of Moonball - one of my top 10 favorite, and most often used, team building activities. To limit my quest (and the length of this post) I chose to stay with three Karl Rohnke books off my shelf.
Moonball (Silver Bullets, 1984. Earliest version I had available.)
Scatter your group around an open playing area. Use a "well inflated" beach ball as the object of play. The group's objective is to hit the ball aloft as many times as possible before the ball strikes the ground. Rules: 1) A player cannot hit the ball twice in succession, and 2) Count one point for each hit. That was it! Go for as many points possible before the ball hits the ground. Then, try to beat the established best score. Continue play as long as the motivation holds out.
Moonball (The Bottomless Bag, 1988)
In this book Karl adds to the basic rules, 3) Two points are allowed for a kick. He then goes on to share a few variations. After a couple rounds of basic play, ask the group to see how many times they can hit the ball in sequence through all the players without 1) letting the ball hit the ground, or 2) missing a sequenced player. Then there is: See how fast (timing attempts) the ball can travel from player to player in sequence - through the whole group, one time. Karl notes that the ball must be hit and not simply passed. Finally, there is this one: Set up a basic Moonball game and record the most number of ball strikes (not points), hands only, during a two minute time limit. Only count the hits that are not preceded by a ground bounce. The ball must touch each player sequentially [as I see it, this last rule sort of changes the "basic" rules of play - but, we do whatever works anyway]. These are ways to keep the group engaged in Moonball when motivation diminishes with one version.
Moonball Space Warp (Bottomless Baggie, 1991. Variation shared by Steve Butler.)
For a group of 15-20 people use a 20" beach ball and two or three hula hoops. The objective in this variation is to score as many beach ball strikes, for points, as possible. Here are the rules:
Steve's main point of interest about adding the hoops is related to learning how to use a "new" piece of equipment and the group dynamics that surround this process. You're playing basic Moonball and then something new is added. How does the group manage this change? How doe they manage the transition from one way of doing something to another?
More Moonball variations? (I'm sure there are!) Share your ideas in the comments.
All the best,
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.