Students should be taught the art of working in teams from a young age itself. Be it High School students or college students, either way, conducting regular team building exercises is a sure way of ensuring that the student gets a wholesome and complete education and graduates with a better mindset to enter the corporate workforce with an open mind.
The onus is on the teachers and professors to include team building sessions into the daily academic sessions. Sometimes, educators consider these activities to be a waste of time but what they don’t realize is that it’s a fun way to also get students to learn a subject quicker.
Team building activities are also especially effective when a new academic session is about to begin in colleges. Students don’t know each other and so starting the class or semester with a team building activity can act as an ice breaker for everyone.
Some team building activities for students:
1. Conducting in-class debates on a particular current affairs topic. Students can be divided into groups based on the sides or political parties they support and can have a debate that’s mediated by the educator so that it doesn’t get out of hand. This will also develop research and public speaking skills.
2. Promoting the value of a Green Earth and making students go out and plant trees once a week for a particular length of time, maybe over 2 months. They can be divided into groups on the basis of the kind of plant they would plant and will be given points based on how quick they did it and how they cared for the plant for it to bear fruits faster. Pictures would have to be clicked to act as evidence for the activity. The group that wins can be given a reward of some kind.
3. Exchange programs could be conducted for students in a class. By which every student exchanges homes for a week with another student. This will help students understand the value of their own families while accepting the life / weaknesses / strengths of their class mate’s families too.
4. Students can be put into groups based on their favorite color and can be told to then present to the class why that particular color is their favorite one. They will learn to understand the significance of the color that they consider their favorite while bonding with students that have similar tastes.
5. The movie game is another interesting way for students to learn to be part of a team. A box of chits could be prepared with the names of well known and recent movies written on them. Students would have to pick up the chit (one for each) and then divide themselves on the basis of the movie they got in the chit. After that, the groups once formed could be told to enact their favorite or any scene from the movie.
6. The copycat game can be a shorter team building game during the class hour. Ask students to form pairs and start copying each other for about 10 minutes. Its an ideal “first game” to break the ice for new students.
7. The situation game is also a great team building activity. Students do not necessarily need to be divided into teams for this. You just have to pick a student randomly and ask them what they’d do in a particular situation, for instance: The just won the best actor / actress award and so they should share their speech. The impromptu made up situation will give way to some great laughs and bonds.
8. You can make a list of general items students usually have in their backpacks or wear as accessories. Like, a pink clip, a ball, a black jacket, white shoes etc. Then as you read each item on the list out, ask students to pick out who is wearing them and obtain the item from them.
9. Describe students randomly in the class and ask the others to guess who you are talking about. This can be quite a fun way to get students to interact with each other.
10. Divide the class into two groups and ask one half to write questions starting with how to …. And the other to write answers starting with I would….
Match the two randomly and laugh out loud at the funny mismatch of answers to questions.
11. Conduct an in-class treasure hunt or make it more exciting by including places all over the school. You would need some help to structure the game but it will be an effective team building exercise.
12. Sports have always been a good way of inculcating the spirit of team spirit in people. Try out a session of youth Olympics in the school. It could probably involve the whole school thus increasing the effectiveness of the activity for students across all grades.
13. Karaoke is another nice way of promoting the spirit of teams. Simply get a system in place and make everyone get up and sing one at a time! Record it for better effect and play it back for the class to see how their classmate sang!