Line of inquiry: How can we work together effectively to put something together?
Grade range: 1-10
Group size: No less than 3; no more than 5
Materials: Puzzles – For younger groups, choose a puzzle with less than 10 pieces. For older groups, larger puzzles with up to 20 or so pieces work well. There are many free computer programs that can make a puzzle out of any picture; facilitators can use photos, diagrams, or other images that relate to the activity. On the back of the puzzle, teachers may add the Golden Rule poster to reinforce the spirit behind the activity.
Activity Objective: Ask students to wordlessly put together the puzzle
Time: 30 minutes.
Skills: Critical thinking skills, communication, cooperation, problem solving
Space: This can be done on desktops, or sit in a circle on the floor.
Directions: Each student in the group will receive an envelope containing some of the puzzle pieces. Silently, the students must complete the puzzle. They can use gestures, eye contact, but no voice. They cannot place anyone’s piece but their own but they can help other students politely and wordlessly. The larger the puzzle, the more time this activity will take.
Deliver the Challenge: Students will be using body language and cooperation to complete this activity. The puzzle image can be used to emphasize a certain aspect; leading to further discussion of the curriculum goals.
Extensions: Facilitators can use an overhead device and groups can compete against each other to be the first to wordlessly complete the task. Discussions about how the element of competition affects the students’ ability to work together
Notes: This is a great activity to practice quiet. This helps students understand how communication isn’t just about words; it is about listening and watching.