Leadership Inspirations Activities

Mole Game

An activity about working together through challenges with trust

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Tape, Legos Or Craft Supplies, Box With Windows Cut In It, “Mole Slip”

 

SUMMARY

In this activity, the facilitator creates a situation where group members have the potential to distrust each other while completing an activity. The focus of the debrief usually centers on how to work through distrust in the group and what impact it has on performance.

 

SET UP

  • Build something (with the legos, craft supplies, etc.) or draw a picture that the groups will have to duplicate.
  • You will need to cut windows out of a box that is big enough to cover what you built.  
  • Put your creation on a chair or the ground with the box covering it.
  • Be sure you can see through the box windows.
  • Prepare a Mole slip (Facilitators Note: Everyone will see the same Mole slip that says ‘No, you are not the Mole’).
    • Yes, you are the Mole. 
    • X No, you are not the Mole.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Divide the group into small groups (5-7 people).
  • Separate groups and give them enough supplies to build whatever they are supposed to build.
  • Tell the groups to select an artist/builder who will be the only person allowed to work with the supplies.
  • Tell the groups that the role of the Mole is to sabotage the group. Have each person close their eyes, and show them each, one at a time, the Mole slip. Instruct them to keep this information secret.
    • Facilitator’s Note: Remember, even though you have told participants about the role of the Mole, there is no real Mole in this version of the activity. Do not tell participants this information until the activity is complete.
    • Also Note: In order to avoid lying to the group and hurting your credibility with your students, you need not say there WILL be a mole. Instead, simply explain the role of the mole and explain that you will be showing them Mole slips to determine whether or not they will be the mole.
  • Tell them the rules:
    • Only one person may leave their group’s area at a time.
    • Every person must leave the group area once before anyone goes a second time.
    • The artist/builder may not
    • Once a teammate leaves the group’s area, there is NO talking.
    • Give them a time limit (recommended 15 minutes).
  • Start the game.
    • During the activity monitor talking and make sure that participants are following all of the rules.
  • At the end of the activity, ask them identify who they think the Mole is in their group.
  • Reveal to everyone that there was no Mole the entire time.

VARIATIONS

  • You can also facilitate this activity so that there is a person who has the role of the Mole. Make sure to prepare two different Mole slips before you start the activity, one with ‘X Yes, you are the Mole’ and one with ‘X No, you are not the Mole’. Consider how the learning outcomes might be different for a group in this scenario.

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • 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?

Inclusion and Involvement

  • What does it mean to be inclusive or exclusive?
  • What did we do as a group that was inclusive? That was exclusive/not inclusive?
  • Why is inclusion and involvement important for our group?

Feedback

  • Why is feedback important? What kind of feedback is important?
  • What does constructive/effective feedback look like?
  • How did positive/negative/or no feedback affect your success?
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?