Line of inquiry: How can we use cooperative skills to solve a problem?
Grade range: K-3 and also 4-6
Group size: This can be done with groups of 5-10
Materials: Medium-sized balloons, already blown up
Time: 30-40 minutes
Skills: Critical thinking skills, communication, cooperation
Space: Works best in a gym
Directions: Student groups will form circles and hold hands. The facilitator will toss a balloon into the air – above each group. The groups will have to keep the balloon in the air without ever letting go of each other’s hands.
Extensions: There are many ways to keep this activity relevant. The balloon can symbolize a law and the group a committee trying to keep it alive, demonstrating how a bill becomes a law. Groups can compete against each other, with prizes or ribbons for the balloon longest in the air, or outlasting the other groups, etc.
Reflection: How did the circles need to cooperate to keep the balloon in the air? Were some people more involved than others? Do we see this in our community? If so, why might that be the case?
Notes: This is a fun activity that can be adapted for different groups and lessons