Leadership Inspirations Activities
Make as many words as possible
Storming, Norming, Performing
Type Of Activity
Index cards, paper, pens
This activity is a great way to have participants start to think about goal setting and project planning. They will be tasked with making as many words as possible using a set of letters written on index cards. This activity comes with a twist that may add stress or conflict, things groups encounter in their organizations all the time!
- Break your group up into smaller groups of 4-5 people each.
- Pass out 26 index cards, one blank piece of paper, and pens to each small group.
- Have each group set aside one index card to be used later.
- Tell groups that they will be writing letters of the alphabet on the remaining 25 index cards. They will only be able to write one letter per index card.
- The intent is to come up with as many words as possible using the index cards.
- They will only be able to use an index card once in any given word, which means they may decide to write down multiples of certain letters.
- Give groups five minutes to decide what letters they want to write on their index cards.
- After they have written down a letter on each index card, have them agree on a goal for how many words they think they could make out of their letters. They should write this goal on the last (26th) index card.
- Then, have groups put all of their cards together in a stack with the goal card on top.
- Collect the stacks and pass them back out to different small groups.
- Once everyone has a new stack of cards, tell groups that they will have seven minutes to try to reach their new goal with their new stack of cards.
- All words must be actual, known words (no acronyms, slang, etc).
- Have them record the words they create on the blank piece of paper.
- For a second round, facilitator can collect all index cards from the teams and lay them out in a grid pattern. Groups must identify as many words as possible in 5 minutes. All letters in the word must be connected.
- You can also lead this activity like a game of team Scrabble. After everyone has written down their 25 letters, let them know those will be their game pieces. One group will start by making a word on the floor with their index cards. Play will continue to the left and the next group will need to try to build a word off of the first teams word. If a team can’t make a word they will be skipped. A team can only make one word per round. The first team to use all of their index cards wins.
SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?