Group activity that requires the use of various SEL skills.
This activity pairs well with most of the other lessons. If you are looking to extend time on any lesson, or get students up and moving, this is your ticket!
The objective of this activity is for students to complete a mildly difficult task (lining up in birth-month order). In order for students to complete it successfully, they will need to utilize skills such as creative communication, group organization, seeking to understand others, and moments of followership.
Students should be allowed to work through the activity without teacher intervention in order for student skills to emerge and struggle to naturally occur.
The reflection of this activity is where the facilitator can guide student learning.
1. The goal of this activity is for students to line up in order of their birth-month, starting with January and ending with December. The rule imposed is that students cannot talk, and must figure out how to complete the task silently.
2. Explain that this activity is meant for students to practice the leadership skills that they have been discussing in previous sessions.
3. Introduce the activity to the students with the goal and the rule.
GOAL: Line up in birth-month order
RULE: No talking
4. Once everyone understands the rules, begin!
5. Allow time for students to work through the task.
6. If students are continuing to struggle with completing the line-up, give them a time limit to finish.
7. Once students have finished the birthday line-up, ask the group to check their work by saying the month in which they were born.
8. If students are very successful the first go around, give them a harder challenge and have them do it again!
1. The facilitator should only insert themselves in the student process to enforce the “no talking” rule.
2. Be observant of student’s process as they go through the activity. There are often teachable moments that can be brought up in the reflection.
1. If students are quick and successful with the activity the first time, have them do it again with a higher level of difficulty such as:
- Alphabetical order by middle name. Be aware that some students do not have middle names.
- Largest to smallest by animal size. For this version, the facilitator would secretly assign a different animal to each student.
1. Guide students to reflect on their role in this activity and how they helped achieve success. Link the discussion back to previous conversations on leadership or other skills, and what evidence they saw of those skills in themselves or their classmates.
2. Use these questions for reflection:
- What did you notice as the line was forming?
- Do you think the group was successful? Why or why not?
- If you would give the group a letter grade (A, B, C, D, F) for how you completed this activity, what would it be, and why?
- What strategies were helpful for you or the group?
- What strategies were least helpful?
- What principles of leadership/assertiveness/problem-solving, etc… did you see?
- Who did you see “being a leader” during this activity? What specifically did they do?