Expressive Ed. Youth Activities

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Expressive Youth Activities: With New Activities Being Added Regularly!

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Critical Thinking

1. LIFEBOAT
Time: An hour
Purpose: Discover how emotions effect the success of our negotiations
Participants: One or several small groups
Materials needed: List of 15 people in a yacht
Instructions: Give the team or teams a list of 15 people who are on a yacht. Tell them that the yacht developed a leak and is sinking fast. There is only one lifeboat and it will accommodate only nine people — not one more can fit and there are no more lifeboats or life jackets. The group must then come to an agreement as to which of 15 people gets to go in the lifeboat and be saved. However, they must also list those they save in order of importance — because if they run out of food and water the “less important people’ will have to be dumped overboard. Of course this is often the more difficult job.The key for this game is to make the 15 people on the list as controversial as possible. For example include a priest, minister, rabbi or all three! A pregnant woman, powerful leaders from both major political parties, an ex-convict, a male physician and a female
one, a political lobbyist, people of different ethnicities, etc — the more emotionally charged the list the better. Give them a period of time to work out the problem. Make it long enough to get into heated discussion but short enough to be pressed for time. I usually allow six to ten
minutes. The discussion afterward should be in depth and include everyone on the team. You can facilitate with questions. Such as …
What problems did you experience? How did you resolve these issues? Was it the best way? How else could you have resolved your differences? Why did these problems occur in the first place?
Then…
How does this exercise reflect your day-to-day relationships? What are the similarities between what you just experienced and negotiations at work and at home?
After fully exploring these questions ask your team — or teams — to reconvene. This time they will list three things they would do differently now that they have had this discussion. Be sure to tell them that this follow-up exercise is not about the lifeboat or anyone on it — it is about the process of negotiation.
Desired outcome: The critical take away here is that negotiation often fails because each participant wants to get his or her way. A better method may be to first learn the needs and intents of others. Understanding fosters a spirit of cooperation and therefore agreement. Use the three things each team determines they learned as a guide to create better understanding in future meetings and discussions.
Taken From http://www.onlineexpert.com/elearning/user/pdf/NatSem/ManagingDiverseWorkforce/Team-BuildingGamesActivitiesIdeas.pdf

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2. I ADMIRE OTHERS
Time: A few minutes
Purpose: To develop models of behavior
Participants: Any number of players
Materials needed: Paper and pen
Instructions: Everyone writes on a piece of paper the words, “I admire others who …” The game now has four steps:
1. Instruct players to think of people they admire and why.
2. Give the players one minute to finish that sentence. Ask them to use positive language; for example instead of writing, “I admire others who are not negative,” write “I admire others who are positive.” They are to continue to write free form for one minute without regard to punctuation, grammar, or spelling — just a constant flow of thoughts as they think of others they admire.
3. Have a few volunteers read what they wrote starting with the introductory words, “I
admire others who …”
4. Now ask that they draw a line through the words, “I admire others who …” and insert these words: “I am powerful when I …” Ask volunteers to read again, this time using the new introductory words.
Desired outcome: Participants understand that what they most admire in others they can do themselves. It encourages others with simplicity and ease to be the best they can be.
Taken From http://www.onlineexpert.com/elearning/user/pdf/NatSem/ManagingDiverseWorkforce/Team-BuildingGamesActivitiesIdeas.pdf

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3. WHAT’S IN YOUR TREASURE BOX?
Time: Half to one hour
Purpose: Players realize all the things of value they have in their lives
Participants: Any number can play
Materials needed: For each player: a small box, several pieces of paper and a pen
Instructions:
• Each person writes everything they want in their life — things they have as well as things they don’t yet have — but only one thing per piece of paper.
• Ask them to take ten minutes to complete but they must pretend that when they are done only things they wrote will be theirs for life. Anything they forget, they will never have. For example, if they forget to write ‘good health’ they will not have it in their lives. So suggest they write fast and include essentials first.
• When complete, ask them to put all pieces of paper with things they have inside their ‘treasure boxes.’ Their assignment is to put one action step on the back of each paper for something they don’t have, which will help get it in the box.
Desired outcome: The marvelous discovery we already have much of what we truly value and clarity on how to start acquiring the rest.
Taken From http://www.onlineexpert.com/elearning/user/pdf/NatSem/ManagingDiverseWorkforce/Team-BuildingGamesActivitiesIdeas.pdf
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4. LIFE HIGHLIGHT GAME
Time Required: 30 minutes
This is an excellent icebreaker activity that’s perfect for small and large groups alike. Begin by asking each participant to close their eyes for one minute and consider the best moments of their lives. This can include moments they’ve had alone, they’ve shared with family or friends; these moments can pertain to professional successes, personal revelations, or exciting life adventures. After the participants have had a moment to run through highlights of their lives, inform them that their search for highlights is about to be narrowed. Keeping their eyes closed, ask each participant to take a moment to decide what 30 seconds of their life they would want to relive if they only had thirty seconds left in their life. The first part of the activity enables participants to reflect back on their lives, while the second part (which we’ll discuss in a moment) enables them to get to know their coworkers on a more intimate level. The second portion of the game is the “review” section. The leader of the activity will ask each and every participant what their 30 seconds entailed and why they chose it, which will allow participants to get a feel for each other’s passions, loves, and personalities.
Taken From – http://www.huddle.com/blog/team-building-activities/

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5. TAKE A STAND/VALUES CONTINUUM
Time: 15-30 Minutes
Purpose: Critical Thinking,
Participants: All can play
Materials needed: Paper Signs
Instruction: If You Don’t Stand For Something, You Will Fall For Anything – Make four signs/a continuum of strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree – Players start in the middle of the room. As you read each value statement, players must move without talking to the sign that best represents their opinion and expresses their stand on the issue. After everyone chooses a corner, ask players to discuss for a minute or two the issue with a partner. After 1-2 minutes, ask volunteers to share with everyone why they made their decision. Listen to at least one opinion from each category. Repeat for each new statement.
Going Deeper: Why is it important to take a stand on issues? What are some factors you consider when making decisions about controversial issues you face in life? Did you change your mind when you heard other people share why they chose a sign different from yours? Why? How difficult was it not to debate or argue while you listened to others? What can you gain from hearing others out?
Examples for Value Statements: I feel I am getting a good education, Being poor is worse than being alone, Dogs are better than cats- Make these statements as serious or as goofy as you want. Tailor the questions to your audience and maybe even have them come up with value statements.

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6. UNFAIR QUIZ SHOW
Time: 5-15 Minutes
Purpose: Critical Thinking
Participants: All can play – Divide into two teams
Materials needed: Questions, Scorecard
Instruction: Write out a set of questions with some easy and others that are much more difficult. Divide participants into two groups. Without telling players about the underlying bias in this game give one group all the easy questions and give the other all the hard questions. Award one point per correct answer. Periodically note the score for the two teams and use body language to express favoritism for the team with the easy questions.
Going Deeper: Did you feel you were treated unfairly? How did you feel about the questions you were asked? In what kinds of situations have you seen people treated unfairly? What groups of people throughout history have been treated unfairly? Who has responded to unfairness in ways that you admire? Why? What have they done? What can you do when you see someone treated unfairly?Sample Questions: Who is the current president of the US, five plus five equals, when is Halloween -vs.- What is the square root of pi? What is the current national debt of the United States? How do you count to ten in German?

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Creativity

1. SONG OFF/SONG WARS
Time: 5-15 Minutes
Purpose: Fun, Expression
Participants: All can play – split into as many teams desired
Materials needed: Paper and Pens (one set per team)
Instruction: Split the group into desired number of teams and explain that you’ll give teams the same word such as love, blue, or Christmas, and ask them to compile a list of as many songs including that words as possible within one minute. Tell them you’ll point to teams one at a time to sing a song line within three seconds, using the word you gave out. Let teams know you’re the song judge (recruit others if you aren’t confident in your musical knowledge). Others must recognize the line from a real song (not a composed line on the spot). A group is out if the repeat another group’s song or they can’t think of a song within three seconds. Start the singing and let the fun begin! If this is too limiting for players give them a larger range such as a topic of love instead of the word “love.” To make things even more challenging have the final song off include choreography and a full song.
Going Deeper: How does competition enhance performance? How does a creative spirit help you in leadership and teamwork? How does laughter build a healthy team environment? How can you include laughter in your teamwork?
Taken From Great Group Games, Ragsdale, page 131

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2. GROUP POETRY
Time: 15-45 minutes
Purpose: Creativity
Participants: All can play
Materials needed: Paper, Pencils, index cards
Instructions: Make sure each player has a piece of paper, pen, and index card. Ask them to free write for 5-7 minutes (or give a theme such as fun, relationships, love, family, hobbies). When time is up ask them to pick their favorite line or sentence and write it on an index card. After forming groups of 4-6 people have them put all the index cards in the order they choose to create a group poem. If needed, they may add a few more sentences to provide transition. Ask groups to share their creative works out loud.
Going Deeper: What was your favorite part of this exercise? What did you think of the transformation from your individual poem to a group poem? What are the advantages and disadvantages of group projects with many authors? Is it a good thing to collaborate? Why or why not? How does the final outcome of a project change when you work with others? What did you learn about your teammates’ outlook or values from their lines of poetry?
Taken From Great Group Games, Ragsdale, page 112

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3. LETTER WRITING
Time: 15-45 minutes
Purpose: Creativity
Participants: All can play
Materials needed: Paper, Pencils, (Possibly Envelopes and Stamps)
Instructions: A recent study conducted by the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime found that the ability to imiagine one’s self in the future has a direct impact on their propensity to commit crime. The study showed that individuals who wrote letters to their future selves (whether it be 3 months in the future or twenty years in the future) made better decisions surrounding life choices involving committing crimes. For many individuals who commit crimes they live solely in the here and now, this is an opportunity for them do some deeper thinking about how their current actions affect the future they want for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Some Great Guided Reflection Questions Can Be Found Here
– http://teacherweb.com/MN/PineIslandSchools/NRusch/Write-a-Letter-to-Your-Future-Self2.pdf –
Who are you now? What is the world you live in like? What do you do? Who are the people in your life? What are your hopes for the future? Who do you hope to be talking to?

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