Recently I attended the ACCT Conference (Association for Challenge Course Technology) in Fort Worth Texas. I stepped into an activity workshop lead by Matthew Broda and Trevor Dunlop - their theme was, Doing A Lot with a little. (As many of you know, I like versatile props and equipment.) Matt and Trevor shared a wide variety of activities using a pack of 184 letter cards they call CrowdWords.
Another thing you might know about me is that I love word building activities, especially ones you can play with Jumbo Banangrams. Here's Word Building and 3 Down, two of my posts with the jumbo plastic letter set. Needless to say, I was excited about learning more to do with letters.
Mini Reflective Puzzle is just that, an activity we can use to reflect upon (or even frontload) an activity. This one, and several other activities Matt and Trevor presented, were new and FUN for me, so of course I have to share a little.
Note: Your whole group just participated in a team building problem solving activity and you're ready to move into some processing over what just happened. You have the Mini Reflective Puzzle activity ready to go.
Set Up: Place all 184 CrowdWords letters, face up, on the floor or on top of a couple tables (like below) in an open area within your playing space - in the center of the room is a really good spot, but anywhere can do. Divide your larger group into smaller groups of 3 to 5 participants.
If you have the space to do so, set each small group around the playing area in a circle pattern (with the letter pool in the middle) - like numbers on a clock, each small group positions themselves at a different number. If you don't have the space, find a nice spot for every small group and then number off each group.
Part 1: Two Words (Caveat: This is my rendition. Matt and Trevor have other nuances in their description found in their book, CROWDWORDS: Doing A Lot with a little.)
I will ask each small group to brainstorm (eventually two) words they would use to describe the activity they just completed as a whole group. You might even want to get more specific in order to focus your discussion (and being more specific might make word selection a little easier too). You might say, "Think of words related to leadership and what we just did," or "Choose words related to what was needed for you to complete the challenge you just did."
Here's part of the challenge for each small group. The two words they choose must fit together into a small crossword puzzle (or Scrabble-type if you prefer) formation (see pictures above with three words connected) - all words must be connected together, reading top to bottom or left to right.
As I would play it, when a small group decides together on a word, someone from the group can go to the "letter pool" and pick the letters needed for that word and bring them back to his/her group. I will ask my groups not to form the word on the floor. Simply keep the letters together in a pile after spell checking.
Then, knowing the letters the group has, they will choose another word that will share one letter with the first word they picked so the two words will connect together in a puzzle formation. When the second word is chosen, someone can go up to the letter pool for the letters needed.
Now, as Matt and Trevor note: "Depending on group size, it will almost be a guarantee that there will not be enough of the "right" letters to spell the words they selected. Prompt the individuals to start thinking creatively to find a way to represent their thoughts as closely as possible."
Once each small team has the letters they need (after spell checking) to make two words connected together, sharing one letter, they can shuffle up all the letters and place them in one pile on the floor. Be sure to give a little reminder to each group - remember the two words you chose in case other groups need an answer.
Note: Each small group has just spent some time "processing" their experience.
Part 2: Solve the Two Puzzle
Each group is now asked to move one spot to the right, gathering around a new pile of letter cards. (If you've numbered groups, each group moves up one number and the highest numbered group goes to the number one group pile of letters.)
The Challenge With this new set of letters, each group is challenged to figure out the two words that go together in the puzzle formation - two words sharing one letter - within five minutes. Remind the groups that the words are related to...(whatever the prompt was for picking the words). This reminder can reestablish the focus of the processing and thinking.
If a group can figure out the puzzle words before the five minutes is up, they can have a discussion about the meaning of the words in relation to the previous activity. If some groups are not able to come up with the solution to the puzzle, the group that created the puzzle can share the answer. Then, as Matt and Trevor suggest, "...take a moment to conduct a gallery walk so that all groups can see the work of their peers."
After a few minutes of roaming the gallery, you could take some time to discuss some of the words that came up for the small groups as a way to explore some of the key learnings they recognized.
Part 3: Three Words If there is time, and it seems appropriate, go through the same process asking each small group to now choose three words that can be connected into a crossword puzzle formation. (Or, conduct another team building activity and go through this Mini Reflective Puzzle in this way.)
First, have someone from each group return the letters from one of the two-word puzzles to the letter pool - face up - then return to his/her small group. Then, ask a prompt that will relate to something about the activity you (also) want to explore. Groups brainstorm and bring back their words, shuffle their small deck and place the pile on the floor.
Part 4: Solve the Three Puzzle As before, groups rotate, maybe to the left this time, and then attempt to solve the puzzle in five minutes. After five minutes solutions can be shared, if needed, and the gallery walk opens up. Follow up with some discussion about some of the key words that were noticed.
Here's what I like about this processing activity (or Reflect, as named in the book):
The one downside I see is that, as the facilitator, you will most likely not hear all the discussions going on when words are being considered and talked about. you'll have to "trust the process."
Playable Note: If you have a set of Jumbo Bananagrams (and you're not ready to invest in CrowdWords just yet), you can lead Mini Reflective Puzzle with a smaller group - maybe three or four groups of 3 to 5 players. There might be a bit more rethinking over word selection, because of less letters to choose from, but certainly doable.
Review in a nutshell:
Thanks Trevor and Matt! I'm looking forward to my new activities.
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
I shared this challenging communication activity with my FUNdoing Fridays followers in May of 2016 (Join the FUN by filling out any one of my "Sign Me Up" forms at any page here at FUNdoing and receive a handful of team building activities and ideas every Friday - FREE to you.)
My hope with this new activity (at the time) was to gather feedback about how it "works" to bring out useful communication skills and problem solving behaviors. I didn't hear from anyone. So I ended up sharing my set of Number Squares (and the directions) with a few friends to let them try it out. They told me the preparation information for the activity was not very clear. Let me fix that. I'm using some space here to share more about the set up of the number cards in the hopes of eliminating one of the main barriers to using this activity.
Below (in PDF form) you will find the full detailed write up I have for Number Squares and the print-n-play number cards. There are three different challenge levels for this one. There is a 16-card version that I consider to be the easiest. There is a 25-card version with a "hollow" numbered center card - a moderate difficulty level. Then, there is a 25-card version with a "solid" numbered center card which I consider to be the most difficult version. (All three puzzle layouts are below.) BONUS VARIATION: A friend of mine suggested that you can also play any of the three variations where players can show - but not give away - their card(s) to others. As a nice progression, I intend to try the 16-card puzzle first giving my group the option to show others their card(s) and then play the 25-card puzzle where they can only describe what they are holding. This might make the 25-card puzzle a bit easier to solve once the group learns about the number cards for their first attempt.
Playing the Game: In a nutshell, each player has one or two number cards and can only verbally share what is on his/her card(s) to other players (this is a ZOOM-style activity, if you know that one). In the end the group places the cards down on a table (or floor) in the correct 4by4 or 5by5 pattern. (Again, there is a fully-detailed PDF of the activity below.)
Included in the set of number cards are the answer cards for each of the two puzzles - the 16-card puzzle and the 25-card puzzles.
Each number card in this activity has a letter designation (see the cards below). The letters are used to identify each card in relation to the answer of each puzzle. This letter designation also helps when pulling out the number cards you want to use with a group. Again, there is one 16-card puzzle (easiest), and two 25-card puzzles - one with a hollow numbered center card (card C) being the moderate challenge, and a solid numbered center card (the other card C) being the most challenging variation of the three.
Here is the part that can be confusing:
There are two of the following cards: X, H, W, A, G, E, I - one set for the 16-card puzzle and one set for the 25-card puzzle. Look at the puzzle solutions below. Notice that the numbers on the outside edges of each puzzle are comprised with "hollow" numbers - this designation is a fact that groups will (hopefully) come to realize after communicating with clear details. This fact can help groups piece the puzzles together. When you use the 25-card puzzle you need to replace the right and bottom edge cards of the 16-card puzzle with the other set of numbered X, H, W, A, G, E, I cards. Then add the D, Q, Y, N, V, F, K, R & O cards for the right and bottom edges.
16-Card Puzzle Solution
25-Card Solution (with hollow numbered center card)
25-Card Solution (with solid numbered center card)
I hope this information is helpful. First and foremost, you need to decide which puzzle set of cards you're going to use. Then, pick them out of your set - put any extras out of sight. Be sure you have the appropriate answer card for the puzzle you are using and have some, or all, of the Help Cards available as resources for your group. (Help Cards are described in the full write up of directions below.)
Okay, please let me know how Number Squares plays for you. Any feedback is welcome!
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
In December of 2016 I posted a basic presentation of the activity ZOOM along with a newer variation I learned from my friend Scott Goldsmith. A while back I tried a variation of ZOOM that was new for me - I made it up prior to a particular program. (Now, this doesn't mean I was the first one to come up with the idea - you know how they float around once someone thinks one up.) I forgot about this variation until today when I ran across some video footage I took of some ZOOMers in action. So, after a little editing on my phone I have the video for you and the step-by-steps below.
As ZOOMers know, there are about 30 usable picture pages from the book (after you cut off the spine of the book and laminate all the pages). For this example (as in the video) I'll set up play using all 30 pictures.
ZOOM: On The Spot
Rules of Play:
Please let me reiterate one thing. Be sure your put down the reference pictures in the right place so that the pictures, placed down by the group members, will connect appropriately to ones visible. (I'm guessing you can guess why I know putting them in the wrong place is not fun!!)
Your discussion(s) will be related to two possible outcomes (or three if you misplaced a reference picture): 1) All the pictures are in the correct order (based on the order of picture pages in the book), or 2) two or more pictures are out of order. Know you will be able to discuss what led to their success, what led to them being "mostly" successful, as well as what participants focused on most when they were not successful - being mostly or not at all successful. Of course, there will be a lot more group dynamics during the activity, so pull out what relates the best to the group's objectives.
Get the Book(s) You can also play this variation with the book ReZoom - find both books at the Training Wheels Gear store.
Have FUN out there! Do you have a ZOOM variation you like? Share it with us in the comments below.
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
The first Riddle Me This Post went up in May of 2016. In it I shared how I like to use riddles with groups. When presented as a group challenge, riddles can help us learn about asking good questions, listening to, and for, important information and provide an opportunity for a group to solve a problem, or “challenge” together.
I have another set of ponderable problems for you here (and a downloadable PDF of the same so you can have them with you on your smart phone or tablet). Once the answers are discovered to the riddles below, they can be used to open up a conversation based on the topic of the riddle - I provided some suggestions to get you started.
Spoiler Alert: Don't scroll down to the bottom too fast if you want some time to try and figure out the answers - you'll find them below.
1. What appears once in every minute, twice in every moment, but not once in a billion years?
How do you spend your free time? What time of day is your favorite? Why? Why does time go faster when you’re having fun and slower when you’re not? If you could go back in time for one day, where would you go and why? What is your opinion about wasting time?
2. What grows down when it grows up?
What are the things you have in your life that come from animals? What are your thoughts about “animal” products? What are substitutes for animal products?
3. What can travel around the world without ever needing any gas?
Where have you traveled to, and why did you go there? Where would you like to travel to someday? Why do you want to go there? What is your favorite way to travel?
4. What gets larger the more you take from it?
What would you say a “hole” is good for? When holes are not good? What does it mean to get yourself into a “hole”? Have you ever gotten yourself into a hole? What’s the story and how does it end? If you could did holes for a good cause, what would it be?
5. What do you leave behind only after you take them?
What do you want to “leave behind” from your life? What do you think you’ve left behind already? What is something left behind by someone else that you find important in your life? If you could leave behind some advice about life right now, what would it be?
6. What has four legs, a head, and leaves?
Thinking about your daily meals, where do you tend to eat these meals? Do you like to eat alone or with others? What meals do you tend to spend with family? When’s the last time you sat down around the table for a meal with others? What are some of the important details about sharing a meal with others – why might this be a good thing?
7. What can run but can't walk?
Tell us a “water” story in your life? What sorts of water sports are you involved in? How did you get involved in water sports? (Who got you started?) What do we “know” about water? What are some of the ways you can “save” water in your life? How would your life change if you had to walk two miles a day to bring water to your family? (This happens!)
8. What never was, but always will be?
When you think about tomorrow, what do you think about? What’s happening in your life tomorrow that’s important to you? If tomorrow was the same as today, what would you change? If anything was possible, what would you do tomorrow?
9. What is the difference between here and there?
How would you describe the “here” you are in right now? What is here in your life that you appreciate? What is here in your life that you would like to change? What do you believe is out “there” for you? Describe some things that are over “there” – things outside your reach. How can you get closer to those things out of reach? What resources do you need to get “there”?
10. When does Christmas come before Thanksgiving?
What holidays do you celebrate in your life? Which holiday is your favorite? Why? What is your overall opinion about holidays? If you could add a holiday, what would you call it and what part of the year would it be celebrated?
PDF Download of Riddles and Suggested Topics for Discussions
Spoiler - Answers Below...
Answers: 1) The Letter M, 2) A Goose, 3) The Moon, 4) A Hole, 5) Footsteps, 6) A Dining Room Table, 7) Water, 8) Tomorrow, 9) The Letter T, 10) In the Dictionary
Do you have some favorite riddles? Share them in the Comments below. I love to hear from you all!!
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
Triplets Too Here’s a second helping of a puzzle challenge I learned from the Thiagi Group newsletter (see the complete details HERE). If you want the first helping, see my 2016 blog post HERE.
Thiagi is well known for creating activity simulations to enhance learning experiences for corporate populations (the claim is, to stay sharp, he creates at least one new simulation a day!!). If you follow the link above you will see how he uses Triplets as a way to enhance a particular educational concept (As he states in the description of Triplets, “When you have solved all the triplets, make a word out of the first letters of the link words to discover the secret of effective training.) FUN stuff!
After learning about Triplets I came up with a more hands on version and made it a bit more challenging as well). In the PDF below you will find a set of eight Print-N-Play Triplets (24 Words) – the Triplet Words are in the fancy print. The last page of the document includes the “Link Words” (8 Words) - one Link Word will go with one set of (three) Triplet Words (I suggest you read Thiagi’s excellent description of Triplets play for a better understanding of this puzzle challenge).
Again, one of the Link Words will connect (either before of after) with three of the other words in the set (hence, Triplets). Look at the Triplet sets in the header graphic above. Can you figure out what "Link" word goes with each of the Triplet sets? (Find the answers in the Print-N-Play document.)
Here’s how I’ve used Triplets Too so far:
Moderate Challenge: Hand out the Triplet words evenly among your group of 10 to 14 players. Then hand out the link words – one each to eight different players (these players can also be holding Triplet words). Ask the group to match the link words to each set of Triplets without any player ever being without a word in his/her possession. Also, I don’t let my group set down the words – all words have to stay in hands.
Tough Challenge: Only hand out the Triplet words. Have the group determine what Triplet words go together and what link word goes with each set of Triplets. Again, all words must stay in hands and everyone must have at least one word in hand at all times.
In Program Challenge: The group earns (in some way) the link words during program challenges – maybe they earn them all, maybe not. Then, at some point the group receives the Triplet words. They have ten minutes to put the Triplet sets together with a link word. Every correct set earns the group a “Pass” or “Redo” or “Mulligan” to use in future challenges. (For example, if someone touches the Spider Web on the way through the group can use one of their passes to void the touches.)
Here's the Print-N-Play document:
Let me know how you use the Triplets. And, of course, share your Triplets Too sets with me and I’ll pass them along to the FUN Followers.
Have FUN out there!!
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
Set Up: Put down your game spots (e.g., poly spots, index cards or carpet squares) as shown in the diagram above. The diagram is a set up for up to 24 players. The gray spots in the diagram indicate the "head" of the each line - you don't need to have different colored spots for the head of the line in your set up, I just need these in the diagram for my explanation. When setting up your spots include the same number of spots in each line.
Before you're ready to start you also need to organize your cards. Consider that smaller cards will make the activity a bit more challenging. Larger cards will be a bit easier. Put all like ranks of cards together starting with the four Aces on top of the deck (face down), then the twos, threes, fours, and so on. Okay, your ready.
Process: Gather your group together off to the side of the spot configuration you've set up. Hand out a playing card to each person in the group starting with the top of the deck (Aces, then twos, then threes and so on). Ask the players not to look at their cards just yet.
When everyone has a card ask them to do a "blind shuffle" - exchange cards with five different people and then stop moving. Again, ask your participants not to look at their cards just yet.
Now ask everyone to stand on one of the spots you've set out on the ground/floor - lines of people should have equal numbers, or no more or less than one. For example, lets say I set out my 24 spots on the ground and I only have 22 players. There should be two lines of six players and two lines of five players standing on spots - you don't want three lines of six players and one line of four players.
Objective: Each line of players will end up with the same suit of cards running in sequential order starting with the Ace at the head of the line (where all the lines meet) and ending with the highest card of the suit at the tail of the line.
When the lines are all set, you're ready to play. Here are the rules you can share:
So far I've tried Card Quad Jam with three different groups. Each time I let them make three attempts at their "best time". This one is bringing up behaviors similar to TP Shuffle and the Windmill activity (if you know that one from Affordable Portables). There tends to be less action at the ends of the lines and more chaos in the area were the lines come together. I'm seeing lots of possibilities for learning - leadership, planning, roles & responsibilities.... So far a good paradigm shift can be when the group decides to step off of their spots and plan "together" instead of staying in the "linear" communication model. When they are ready everyone simply goes back to their spot so they can make an attempt.
Let me know what you think!! Leave me a comment below.
Have FUN out there!
Chris Cavert,, Ed.D.
Neil Mercer (Tuval Organizational Effectiveness) is a long-time virtual friend of mine from Israel (and a FUN Follower). Years ago he shared an activity with me called, Pressure Cooker - one of the activities that lasted all the cuts over the years to make it into my latest book, Portable Teambuilding Activities. Neil and I have kept in touch ever since. Recently he shared this activity with me (he named Lo-Cost Flight) that came to him early one morning - he told me he had to get out of bed to write it down before he could get back to sleep.
After a couple of emails back-and-forth, and receiving his permission to share, what you find below is how I'm presenting, what I will be calling, On Board - mostly Neil's words with some tweaks from me. I like the potential metaphorical opportunities with the name. Neil tells me he likes the name but, "It doesn't work so well in Hebrew." So he'll be staying with Lo-Cost Flight.
Neil and I can now use your help. Give this one a try and leave us some feedback in the Comments section below. I like the potential - tell us what you think!
Preparations: I will be using a 50 foot activity rope to outline the plane and the boarding door - maybe even some foam noodles to outline the wings and cockpit. I will also use two sets of numbered spots/discs - one set for the seats on the plane and one set for the passenger's seat assignments - I plan on handing out the seat assignments as the passengers (participants board the plane). With this gear I'll create the scene as shown in the diagram Neil created (see below).
Presentation: In these days of cheap air travel, airline companies are cutting back on overheads in all sorts of ways. Seat-allocation has become self-service. Take-off windows for low-cost flights have also become very tight. As such, once the plane door opens, the passengers must board and get to their seats as quickly, and safely, as possible for the on-time departure.
You are about to embark on a flight to Madagascar. Your seats are allocated according to the numbered disks that will be handed out to you at the entrance of the plane. The number on the disk is your seat number. You may only obtain a seat assignment disks once the plane door opens. The seats are numbered (with similar numbered discs) in ascending order from the front of the plane to the back and across the rows from left to right. So, seat number 1 is the furthest seat on the left hand side in the first row.
The Objective: Your traveling team is challenged to find the quickest way for all of you to board the plane and take your allocated seats (stand on matching numbered disks).
Process: You have 15 minutes to plan before you make your first official timed attempt. During your planning time, you may try as many boarding attempts as you would like. Between each attempt the seat number discs will be randomly re-set.
After your first official timed attempt you will then declare your challenging, competitive and yet doable best target time. You then have up to two more official attempts to meet or beat this target time. You will be given up to five minutes to plan before each of your next attempts, but during that time you will not be able to board the plane.
Here's a PDF of the Boarding Rules you can print out and give to the group if needed:
Here's a suggested set-up diagram provided by Neil:
Neil, thanks so much for sharing with us! I'm excited to try it out.
Have FUN out there my friends.
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
Recently, in thanks for my sharing here at the FUNdoing blog, my good friend and fellow team building activity developer, Jim Cain, shared with me some of the Word Circle Puzzles he has created. Jim said I could share them with you as well. (Be sure to head over to Jim's WEBSITE and check out his "Downloadable" page - some great free resources.)
If you are new to Word Circle Puzzles HERE is a link to one of my first blog posts about them - along with a couple puzzles. (Little Known Secret: If you click on the picture at the Silent Word Circle Puzzles post it enlarges to reveal five more puzzles.) I've posted a number of Word Circle Puzzle sets over the years - use the Search tool here at the blog site to find more. Type in Word Circle Puzzles and you're off. AND, once you get hooked be sure to download the first Picture Word Circle Puzzle set - taking the puzzles to the next level.
Here's the basic idea (if you need the gist). Using index cards and a marker, write each word of a set on a different index card. After mixing up the index cards hand them out to your group and ask them to put the words (cards) together so each one connects to the card before it and the card after it in a meaningful way. (Be sure you have the answers to the puzzles handy.)
For example, here's what can work - a compound word, a common term or phrase, or two known words, with their own meaning, that go together to make a new word and meaning. Like DOG and HOUSE each has its own meaning - putting them together into DOGHOUSE changes the two words into another word and meaning. In the end the words can be laid out (or held up by players) into a circle with no beginning or ending - it becomes a Word Circle.
Here are 10 Word Circle Puzzles from Jim in correct order:
(Shorter puzzles are good to use as examples when groups are learning about them.)
Here are four longer puzzles with the words mixed up in case you want to play a bit. The answers are below so don't scroll down too fast.
11 Words: BOOK, TRAVEL, POOL, SETTING, TIME, SMART, GUIDE, DOWN, CAR, PLAY, TABLE...
14 Words: KEY, DOOR, LUNCH, PLAY, LIGHTNING, MAN, TIME, CHAIN, POWER, STORM, BREAK, OFF, FRONT, DOWN...
20 Words: SHELF, SEAT, FENCE, ROAD, WEATHER, OVER, TAKE, GUARD, WAY, POST, BACK, WARMER, BOOK, CHANNEL, TIME, GAME, OFF, LIFE, GUIDE, OUT...
21 Words: WEEK, WASH, BREAK, SOFA, YARD, PACE, STORE, SPRING, NOTE, WORK, CAR, SLEEPER, BOOK, DAY, TEAM, FAST, DREAM, END, LIGHT, FRONT, BED...
PRINT-N-PLAY BONUS: I have put together the four sets of Word Circle Puzzles above (11, 14, 20, & 21 Word Puzzles) into a print-n-play PDF - just print, cut out the words (or laminate first, then cut), and you're ready to play. Here' s the bribe. Email Me (click the link for an email window) and say, "Chris, sign me up for your FUNdoing Fridays email and send me Jim's Word Circle Puzzles." If you are already on the FUN list, then you have received the PDF in my FUNdoing Friday email (delivered January 6th, 2017).
NOTE about FUNdoing Fridays: When you sign up with me you will receive a few FUN team building resources every week - on Friday. I never share emails and you can Unsubscribe easily with one click - see the link at the bottom of every Friday email. Try it out. No risk to you, just FUN. If the link above doesn't work for you, here's where to find me: email@example.com
Jim, thanks for sharing with us. We love you!
Have FUN out there my friends. If you have some WORD CIRCLE PUZZLES to share, send them through the comments section below.
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
Word Circle Puzzle Answers:
11 Words: Book, Smart, Car, Pool, Table, Setting, Down, Play, Time, Travel, Guide...
14 Words: Front, Door, Man, Power, Lunch, Break, Down, Play, Time, Off, Key, Chain, Lightning, Storm...
20 Words: Off, Road, Way, Back, Seat, Warmer, Weather, Channel, Guide, Book, Shelf, Life, Guard, Fence, Post, Game, Over, Time, Out, Take...
21 Words: Spring, Break, Fast, Pace, Car, Wash, Day, Dream, Team, Work, Week, End, Note, Book, Store, Front, Yard, Light, Sleeper, Sofa, Bed...
I've been reconnected to the ZOOM activity since I've been working for an outings company here in Texas (Group Dynamix - Carrollton Texas). ZOOM is a "straight up" verbal communication challenge - the only way to succeed is to share information through talking. (A while back I posted What's Missing? using the Qwirkle Game pieces - same behaviors needed for this one.) I want to share the basics here at my blog for easy access to those who want to get started. There are at least a half-dozen ways I know of to lead ZOOM. (Michelle Cummings and I co-wrote the ZOOM activity for my most recent book, Portable Teambuilding Activities - there are several presentation variations included.)
The Basic ZOOM Lead Once you know how many participants you will have for the activity - let's say 18. Choose 18 sequential pages from the set (choosing 18 random pages from the set can make it a bit more challenging). Hand out a page to every person in your group and ask them not to show their picture to anyone else. In other words, when I get my picture/page I am the only one that can see it. Then, I say something like this:
The pictures you are all holding connect together in a linear order - there is a beginning and an end to the sequence. Your challenge is to arrange the pictures into the correct order by only verbally describing the picture you have in your hand. You must keep your picture in hand and you are not allowed to trade your picture with anyone. In the end, you all need to position yourselfs in a circle formation. One person will ultimately be holding the first picture of the set and someone will be holding the last picture in the set. The rest of you will be in sequential order in between the two. When you all believe you are in the correct sequential order we will reveal (turn around) all the pictures to see how you did.
There you have it. The basics. Players can move around and they can use any words to describe the picure they have. I don't let my groups use outside resources (e.g., smart phones "I didn't show them MY picture"). When you play with up to 24 (or more people) it can take a good 45 minutes - so, be ready. This one's very challenging.
Note: There is also a second helping - Re-Zoom. This (book) sequence of pictures is MUCH tougher to solve with only verbal communication. When I want to give a group some "help" before presenting ZOOM in the traditional way, I start with Re-Zoom. However, the players are able to show their pictures to each other and then get into sequential order. This "practice" gives the group an idea of how pictues fit together and the complexity involved. This step takes about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the number of pictures. But, what I've found is that it cuts the solution time to ZOOM in half.
A ZOOM Variation My Friend Scott Goldsmith recently shared a presentation to ZOOM (that he told me he learned from Steve Ockerbloom) that I have yet to try - but looking forward to.
Each person can look at his/her picture/page then put it face down somewhere in the area. Then, players go out and discuss what they remember about their picture with other people in the group for a predetermined period of time (say 5 minutes - could be more if you think it's needed). After the 5 minutes, everyone can go look at his/her picture/page again for 1 minutes. Then, they all go back out to talk again (for another 5 minutes).
Finally, everyone can look at their picture a 3rd time (for 1 mimute). After this third look players keep hold of their page but cannot look at it again. Participants come back together to openly discuss one more time then put the pictures/pages face down in the order they believe is correct - there will be a first and last picture/page and all the rest in between. The reveal is one card (starting with the first card) at at a time. "It's awesome!!! Best variation I have seen," says Scott.
I'm sure more versions of ZOOM will find there way to FUNdoing. So, go get your ZOOM, give it a try, and be ready for more. Let us know how it goes. Leave a comment below.
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
At the most recent AEE conference someone asked if I've ever created a Word Circle Puzzle set using only pictures. I had to say no, but acepted the challenge! (I can't remember who asked the quesiton, but I do want to say THANK YOU for the idea).
So, here it is friends. As far as I know, this (PDF Print-N-Play below) is the first Picture Word Circle Puzzle Set. Now, you will notice some pictures are pretty straight forward (like the ones in the header picture above), others will lend themselves to more subjectivitiy. I'm assuming the picture versions of WC Puzzles will have a bit more challenge to them. With this in mind you will find eight Help Cards included with the set your group can use for assistance if needed.
Full disclosure. I have yet to try out the set with a group (I intended to the other day but my group wasn't ready for the challenge). Let's test them out together.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about (new to Wird Circle Puzzels?) you'll need to do a little homework. Here are two blog posts - one HERE and another HERE - that should give you the idea. The puzzles in these posts are traditionally made up of words that connect together to form a circle.
Here it is. The first Picture Word Circle Puzzle Set:
Let us know how it goes. Leave a comment below.
Have FUN out there!
Chris Cavert, Ed. D.
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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.