Leadership Inspirations Activities

Broken Squares

Put the broken squares back together


10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity


Broken Squares templates, scissors, envelopes



This activity asks groups to complete the task of putting Tangram puzzles together. Every group will have important pieces that other groups needs and in order for everyone to be successful, they will have to give pieces away. This is a great activity to talk about group success, helping others, and creating an inclusive environment.



  • Print the provided Broken Squares templates, or create your own. The important thing is that you have a different, unique pattern or template for each small group. 
      • If you have 5 small groups, you will need 5 different templates. 
  • Cut up the pieces of each template and mix them up. You will place an assortment of pieces in an envelope that will be given to a small group. Each group should end up with their own envelope.


  • Divide your group into 5 small groups. 
    • Facilitator Note: You will want about 4-5 people per small group. If you have a large group, you may need more than 5 small groups and then will also need to make more templates than we have provided. 
  • Pass out one envelope with pieces to each small group, but do not let them open them until the instructions have been given and you tell them to begin.
  • Tell participants that inside their envelopes are pieces of paper that form perfect squares.
  • Their objective will be to create 5 squares of equal size. 
  • All pieces must be used. 
  • There is no talking or gesturing allowed (pointing, directing, signaling etc.).
  • You may not take pieces from other participants. You may only give away your own pieces. You may not ask for anything in return.
  • Pieces must be exchanged between individuals (they cannot be left in the center of the room as “giveaways”).


  • You can lead this activity instead so they are allowed to talk to each other but all other rules still apply. You may also decide midway through the original activity to allow them to start talking to each other. Interesting conversations may arise!
  • You can make templates out of anything. Use inspirational quotes or fun images to make your own “puzzles” for people to put together. 
  • Try out Card Triangles for a twist on this activity!


  • 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?

Team Building

  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?
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?