Teachers and students working together

 

General Description of the Module:

Often if students want to take action in their school, they must communicate and cooperate with teachers. In this module, you will find several short activities that will help you establish a stronger working relationship between teachers and students which will make working together easier. The activities are also designed to help student’s realise that teachers are also human and can even make mistakes!

These activities are designed to break down communication barriers, help participants learn to accept failure (as you will see, the activities can be quite challenging, but provide lots of laughter), help to improve concentration and reaction as well as developing self-confidence and listening skills. Make sure therefore, to include both teachers and students in all of the activities. These activities can also be used as ice-breakers at any point in the planning process and can be a good way to get the group off the ground.

Activity 1: Zip Zap Zop

Specific Objectives:

  • To create a positive group atmosphere.
  • To create a bond between students and teachers.

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Resources: None!

Description of the activity:

Standing in a circle, place your palms together in front of you. Imagine that inside your palms is a ball of energy. Zip Zap Zop all refer to different directions that you will point your hands.
Zip: left
Zap: right
Zop: across the circle
Whoever starts chooses Zip, Zap or Zop, says it out loud - for example “Zip”- and then passes/points their hands to the person on their left. It carries on (domino effect) with each person turning to the left with their hands and saying “Zip” until someone says something different such as “Zap” and then the direction changes to the right. When someone says "Zop" they need to be direct in who they're passing the "Zop" too and point clearly to that person across the circle! Once the “Zop” has been received, the person can decide to Zip, Zap or Zop it onwards. Keep trying to build up in speed and if you're playing in a big group, you can ask the person who slips up to sit down until you're left with a winner.

Suggestion and tips for facilitation:

You can also try a variation of this game: Get everyone to form a circle. This time however, you have one person quickly clap and point at another, while saying “Zip.” The person who received the “Zip” then claps and points at another, while saying “Zap.” That person then claps and points to someone while saying “Zop.” The pattern continues, “Zip, Zap, Zop, Zip, Zap, Zop….” The goal is to pass the words and energy around as quickly as possible, which is harder than it seems. Eventually, the group will begin to go at lightning speed and you’ll find it hard to keep up yourself.

Activity 2: Don‘t give yourself away

Specific Objectives:

  • To create a positive group atmosphere.
  • To create a bond between students and teachers.

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Resources: Small ball.

Description of the activity:

Stand in a close circle and keep your hands behind your back. Invite one volunteer to stand in the middle of the circle. Ask the volunteer to close his/her eyes. The facilitator should, as quietly as possible, give the ball to one person in the circle. The participants should start sending the ball to each other around the circle without letting the volunteer know where the ball is. Tell the volunteer he/she can open his eyes. He/she then has to guess where the ball is at that exact moment. If the guess is correct, the person who has the ball switches places with the volunteer and goes into the middle of the circle. Repeat.

Activity 3: Silent journey

Specific Objectives:

  • To create a positive group atmosphere.
  • To create a bond between students and teachers.
  • To become more aware of non-verbal communication.

Duration: 15-20 minutes

Resources: Large sheets of paper, markers, coloured pens.

Description of the activity:

Work in small groups. Each group should have a large sheet of paper and drawing utensils. The team members are not to speak to each other, nor are they to communicate by writing on the paper.

Participants have to imagine that they are, metaphorically, travelling on a journey in some sort of vehicle and draw this vehicle and the journey together. Each group much collaborate on a single picture – SILENTLY.

Suggestion and tips for facilitation:

You’ll usually have to enforce the rules rigorously - don’t let people talk or write their plans before starting to draw. Although each person may contribute different parts of the picture, each group creates one shared drawing on their piece of paper, not separate drawings for each person.

After the activity:

After completing the activity/activities, take some time to reflect on your experience. Think about or write down answers to these reflection points:

  • Did I learn something new? If yes, what?
  • What skills did I improve?
  • How could I apply those skills or knowledge in my life? (Think of a few examples)

This module is related to the Teamwork module. All these activities can be used as team building exercises.