Games for Teaching Someone How to Be Accountable

Students sitting at desk in classroom
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Accountability refers to the acknowledgement of responsibility for your actions and the obligation to receive punishment in the event of misconduct. It is a value on which professional and personal relationships based on trust can be built, and therefore children must learn about it from a young age. However, as kids don't have prior experience in taking responsibility and will find it difficult to understand the definition of accountability, certain games at home or at school can teach them how to be accountable.

1 Scavenger Hunt

Divide the class in groups of four if you are playing the game at school, or ask family members to form pairs at home. Give each group of pair a long list of items -- if children cannot read yet, include images instead of words -- and ask the groups to search around the school -- or home -- and return in one hour with all the items of the list. The members of each group or pair must determine which specific items each person must search for. This way, every player is held accountable for finding -- or failing to find -- certain items of the list. The team to find the most items within an hour are the winners.

2 Who is Held Accountable For ... ?

Form a list of a series of professions, such as police officer, accountant, fire fighter, teacher, restaurant inspector and so forth. Make copies for each student or family member and distribute them to students or family members. If kids cannot read yet, draw pictures of each professional, with his distinctive outfit or work tools. Start each round with a number and ask students or family members who is held accountable for checking the health and safety conditions of restaurants, for example. Players must then write the corresponding number next to the inspector and wait for the next question. The player to answer correctly to all the questions is the winner. This game helps players -- and especially young children -- understand how professionals are held accountable for their performance at work.

3 Acknowledgement of Responsibility

Bring to class or at home a number of small plants in a pot. The number of plants must equal the number of students or family members. Ask students or family members to choose a plant and write their name on the pot. This way, students or family members knowingly assume responsibility for taking care of the plant. Each player must water her plant and ensure it is in a well-lit environment. When a plant withers, the player accountable for its growth is eliminated. The winner is the player to help his plant grow for the longest period of time.

4 Assembly Line

Arrange the classroom's desks into rows of four and ask children to sit anywhere they want. Each group of four children will be an assembly line. Draw the four steps of the margarine lid sailboat craft on the board. Explain to students that they must work together with their teammates as part of an assembly line and try to create the sailboat as quickly as possible. Give craft supplies to students sitting on the left end of each assembly line and blow a whistle to start the game. The first player must cut out a right triangle from a construction paper sheet, the second player must punch three holes along the long leg of the triangle, the third one must weave a drinking straw through the holes and the fourth one must place a clay ball in the middle of the margarine lid and make the drinking straw stand upright.The first team to assemble the sailboat craft are the winners. Through this game, players will learn the importance of team roles and each individual's accountability within a group.

Tasos Vossos has been a professional journalist since 2008. He has previously worked as a staff writer for "Eleftheros Tipos," a leading newspaper of Greece, and is currently a London-based sports reporter for Perform Sports Media in the United Kingdom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media from the University of Athens.