Leadership Inspirations Activities

Do The Math

Complete as many tasks as possible to win the biggest prize

Duration

10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Experiential Activity

Materials

Index cards, writing utensils, poster paper, markers

 

SUMMARY

In this activity, groups attempt to complete as many tasks as possible in a set amount of time. The more tasks they complete, the better!

 

SET UP

  • Prepare a poster with a list of tasks and a point value for each task. For example:
    • Walk the dog (3)
    • Climb Mount Everest (35)
    • Plant a vegetable garden (27)
    • Wash your car (14)
    • Cook dinner (22)
      • Facilitator Note: There should be more tasks available than can be completed by all of the cards in the group so that participants have to think and make decisions about which ones to complete.
  • Create three index cards for each participant. Each card will have a random number between 1 and 15 written on it.
  • Incorporate prizes if an incentive is needed or desired. Prizes should be something that can be increased incrementally, such as one extra credit point for each task completed or one day of free snacks in class for each three tasks completed.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Tell participants that their goal is to complete as many tasks from the list as they can in ten minutes. Let them know the prize they are playing for and how the prize will increase the more tasks they complete.
  • Explain that everyone will be given three index cards with a point value on each one. In order to “complete a task” participants must put together index cards that add up to the exact point value of the task they want to complete. Once a task is completed it is checked off of the list and the cards used to complete the task are surrendered. Those cards cannot be used again and that task cannot be completed again.
  • Distribute the index cards to the participants.
  • Give the group ten minutes to complete as many tasks as they can.
  • At the end of the ten minutes, count how many tasks were completed and let the group know what prize they have earned.

VARIATIONS

  • Try telling participants that in order to be eligible for the prize they must have at least one index card remaining at the end of the ten minutes. Participants may choose to sacrifice their last card in order to let the group complete more tasks, but by doing so they will miss out on the prize.
  • Change the number of tasks or the number of index cards given to each participant to accommodate the group size.

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?

Accountability

  • What are you currently accountable for as an individual and a group? Who holds you accountable?
  • What is effective accountability? Are our methods as a group effective?
  • What role do you play in your own accountability and the group accountability?

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?

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?