Middle school is a time when students begin to physically mature and mentally become more self conscious. This is an ideal time to work on team building within the classroom. Team building games allow students to work together, lower embarrassments and self consciousness, break down barriers between groups and teach the importance of leadership and teamwork in society. While doing all this, the games also allow the students to have fun and enjoy a break from routine classroom work.
Have all the students stand in a circle, with arms raised in a position that will allow them to catch a ball. Have one student begin by throwing a ball to someone else in the circle. That person will throw the ball to someone else with their hands up. After the ball is thrown to a student, that student puts his hands down. After every student has caught the ball, the first person begins again, and everyone throws the ball in the same order as the first round. However, each round another ball is added until there are eight balls being thrown at the same time. The students must work together to catch the ball, remember the order and not throw the balls at the same time so that they hit each other in the circle.
As a math experiment, separate students into groups of three or four. Hand each group a pile of random materials, making sure that each group has the same exact materials. LessonPlansPage suggests a stick of gum, a piece of paper, 10 paperclips, a piece of string and five circular stickers for each group. Allow each group five minutes to make the longest object possible with the materials you gave them. During these five minutes, no one is allowed to talk. Afterward, measure the length of each group’s creation and then discuss what the challenges were during this project and how group members communicated without speaking.
While you discuss or read poetry, send a sheet of paper around the classroom and have each student write a line of poetry on the sheet. Decide what type of rhyming pattern should be followed beforehand, and brainstorm words that rhyme on the chalkboard before you begin. After the sheet circulates once or twice around the room, read the poem out loud. Afterward, discuss the difficulties and humor of writing a poem together. Then, separate the students into groups and have each group write a poem together, freely able to discuss ideas and words. Discuss which version of teamwork the students found more difficult or more enjoyable.
Put students into pairs and give each pair a pile of Lego blocks or some other type of building material. Hand one member of the pair a picture of an object built with the Lego blocks. The other person in the pair cannot see the picture, and the person with the picture cannot tough the Lego blocks. Give each pair a designated time, around 10 minutes, for the person with the picture to instruct the person with the blocks how to recreate the picture. Afterward, have each pair show the class how far they got and show how accurate the two objects are to one another.
- teamwork image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com