Leadership Inspirations Activities

Marker Madness

Participants will need to coordinate their efforts in order to create a complete picture together as a group


10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity


Poster Paper, String, Markers



This activity challenges groups to work together to write a word or draw a picture using only one marker and their coordinated efforts to control it using only string. It will require communication, collaboration, and creative thinking for them to create a ‘complete’ illustration.



  • Tie a piece of string to the marker, for each participant. If you have five people in each group that are going to participate, you will need five strings per marker.
  • You will want to tie each string on really well, and leave a two foot tail hanging off the marker.
  • You may need to tape the strings to the marker if they continue to fall off.


  • Break your group up into smaller teams.
  • Give each team paper and their marker.
  • Each participant takes a hold of one of the strings.
  • Choose a word for the groups to write.
  • Everyone will need to work together to write each letter.
  • They are only allowed to hold onto the end of the string (last 6 inches) which means they can’t sneak their hands up close to the marker to write.
  • See how well they do!


  • Have your group draw a picture (house, animal etc) instead of writing a word!
  • Also check out Nuclear Waste.


  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?


  • Are we the only ones that define our purpose? What or who influences our purpose?
  • How do we communicate our purpose to new members or people outside of our group?
  • Why is it important that we all understand the purpose of our group/activity/etc.?

Group Dynamics

  • What are the traits that make someone successful on this team? What are the traits that make someone unsuccessful on this team?
  • What motivates our group?
  • How does our group dynamic affect the way we get work done?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?