STARTS? Just getting started with a new class? Do you have a new group in your calendar? Maybe a LARGE group? Try this interactive get-to-know-you activity. It's ready (below) for you to download and print - in two versions. One for a general population of participants or the High School class or group.
I learned this one from my friend Mike Spiller (Games of the World) way back when. I've seen a few versions of this one over the years with lots of great criteria to compare. Always a good one to get people talking.
Here's the basic idea. Divide your group (any size group can play) into smaller groups of five or six players. Give each small group one of the (double-sided) Statistical Treasure Hunt (STH) handouts you've printed out (downloads below). Then explain how it works.
Let's say we are using the "General" STH handout. The first section of criteria is worth 1 Point for each match. Let's use "One point for every brother and sister." Each player within a small group counts the number of brothers and sisters s/he has - yes, you can count step brothers/sisters and half brothers/sisters. Then each player shares his/her total. Add up all the totals. This number goes in the Points:____ column on the right side of the handout.
The second section is worth more points. For every player in the (small) group who has had (or has) braces they earn 5 points for the group - add up all the 5s and put this number in the points column. The final section has a few criteria worth open points (see the handout).
If you set a time limit for the activity (e.g., 15 minutes), have the small groups add up all their points after the time is up. You can also play until everyone has a number in each points blank (zero can be a number). After scores are totaled, there can be a winner and/or a wonderful conversation about the vast diversity your big old group has within it.
The bottom line is to get people talking and learning a bit more about each other. If you have certain criteria you want to ask your group, of course, feel free to make up your own STH handout. You can make several different handouts that can be used over a period of time. Start out with less-personal criteria handout and progress to more personal criteria handouts your groups would be willing to discuss once they get to know each other a little better.
I hope your "STARTS" are filled with adventure and amazement!
Have FUN out there! Keep me posted.
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.