Leadership Inspirations Activities

Puzzlegrams

Try to put together a puzzle as a group

Duration

10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

24 piece puzzle(s)

 

SUMMARY

 
In this activity, participants must take turns trying to add pieces to the puzzle. This seemingly straight-forward activity can get quite interesting as participants explore different ways to help each other to be successful.

 

SET UP

  • Break your group up into smaller groups of 5-6 people. 
  • You will need to have (1) 24 piece puzzle per small group. You can buy children’s puzzles or make your own using cardstock. 
  • Make sure to mix up the puzzle pieces for each puzzle before passing them out to each small group.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In the first round of this activity, simply tell groups to assemble their puzzles so they can see what it is supposed to look like.
  • Before beginning the next round, have groups mix up their pieces.
  • Each person should take at least 4 pieces. Depending on the size of your small groups, not everyone will have the same number of puzzle pieces and that’s okay. 
  • In this round, everyone must take turns trying to attach one of their pieces to someone else’s (similar to a game of Domino’s). 
  • To begin, the first participant will place a piece on the table. 
  • The next person to their right has one attempt to try to attach one of their pieces to the puzzle. 
    • If a piece doesn’t fit on the first try, play immediately continues to the right. Participants may not try to attach another puzzle piece. 
    • If a piece is attached on the first try, play also continues to the right. No person can add more than one piece during their turn. 
  • Play continues until the puzzle is completed. 
  • There is to be no talking or signaling during this activity. 
    • Facilitator Note: Participants may share puzzle pieces with each other as it is not explicitly stated in the rules that they cannot. Participants should make this discovery on their own, though it is not required that they do so to complete the activity successfully.

VARIATIONS

  • You can save yourself some work by having each group design their own puzzle before starting the activity. Have small groups swap puzzles with each other to start.  
  • Give participants a time limit, this added challenge may encourage them to try new and different strategies.

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?

Alignment

  • 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.?

Inclusion & 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?

Project Planning

  • What has worked in other projects you have done? How have you dealt with setbacks?
  • How do you connect with the process of planning? Do you like it/not like it? How does this impact you/your group?
  • How do we manage our time? How does that affect our ability to complete our projects?

 

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?