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 card 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.
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.