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Team Building Problem Solving Activities

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

By working together to solve a problem, you can help students learn to work in groups and act like a team. These ideas will give you some ways to bring team building problem solving into your classroom.

Team Building through Problem Solving

While icebreakers can be a great way to loosen up a group, they don't always do the trick if your goal is to get students working cooperatively. Problem-solving exercises, however, can help groups improve communication and collaborate more comfortably with each other. The following activities can be easily adapted for most grade levels and classrooms, and can help students learn to work better in group settings.

Team Building Problem Solving Activities

Replicate a LEGO Structure

Divide the class into groups. Give each one a premade LEGO structure that's been glued together. This can be as weird a structure as you want. Provide groups with a bucket of LEGO bricks. The group will try to figure out how to build an exact replica of the structure without taking it apart.

If you wish to make this more challenging, tell students to give each group member a specific role. For example, only one person can handle the structure, one person is responsible for assembling bricks for the new structure, one person is responsible for finding the necessary bricks in the bucket, etcetera.

  • Materials: LEGO structure, glue, buckets of LEGO bricks

Locked in the Classroom

Divide the class into small groups, and provide them with this scenario: they've been locked in the classroom over Spring Break. They can't break the walls or windows, all doors in and out of the school are locked, and their cellphones are getting no reception. If your class would benefit from this, you can add other elements like a zombie apocalypse, but it's not necessary.

For the next 30 minutes, each group will have to come up with a strategy. First, they must decide whether they will try to escape the room or try to survive the week. Next, they must create a complete plan on how they will do this using only the objects available to them in the classroom.

  • Materials: Writing supplies if desired

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