Put cards in order quickly, but there’s a catch!
This fast-paced activity requires a commitment to flexible strategy and strong cohesion. All students will need to be involved to accomplish the goal.
Facilitators of this activity should carefully observe group dynamics in order to productively reflect on the experience with students.
- Deck of Cards
- Stopwatch or Timer for timekeeping
1.Introduce the goal of this activity: for the group to lay down the cards in numerical order as quickly as possible.
2. Share with students that you will pass out cards face down, and on your mark they can begin. Allow for any questions or clarifications.
- There will likely be skipped numbers in the sequence
- Ace is low (or whatever!)
- Double numbers can be stacked
- A designated student should call out when the task is completed.
- No looking at the cards until the start signal has been called
3. Randomly pass out cards, one for each student, and say “begin”. Start the timer.
4. Let students complete the activity. Share the time.
5. Students can move into round 2 of the activity. For this round their goal remains the same (to lay out the cards in numerical order) and ALSO they should attempt to beat their time from the first round.
6. Collect the cards and re-shuffle. You will pass out NEW cards face down to each student. This can cause some commotion, as the plans they had made likely won’t work once everyone has a NEW card.
7. Allow students some time to strategize. Observe roles, voice, and sharing of ideas during the planning process.
8. Once students are ready, pass out new cards and say “begin”. Start the timer.
9. Let students complete the activity. Share the time and compare to the previous round.
10. Students can complete rounds 3 and 4 in this way, attempting to beat their time each round.
Use this “bank” of questions for a post-activity reflection. Choose questions that align with strengths and struggles from the activity. The provided questions focus on team skills, roles, cohesion, and interdependence:
- Pick a (card/key/animal/object) to signify a role you took in the group. Share your role and reflect on why you stepped into that role.
- How did the group handle the uncertainty of new cards each round?
- From your perspective, did everyone contribute to the goal?
- What was the benefit of this being a collective activity versus a solo activity? What about it being a group task made it harder?
- What conflicts came up for the group? Did you resolve any conflicts? (Even very minor) How did you do it?
- What sort of communication strategies were helpful for you personally? What was not helpful personally?
- Share one takeaway from this activity that you could apply to your real life.