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40 minutes

Learning Outcomes

Students will perform a task in teams and in constraint circumstances, using creativity, communication and cooperation.

Resources & Preparation Needed

The teacher needs to prepare:

  •  A blindfold for every child (except the group leaders)
  • 1 packet of construction materials for each team (such as toothpicks, rubber bands and sticky notes)
  • A small table top electric fan/hair drier


Divide the class in groups of four-five people, and give each group a similar packet of  construction materials.

Tell the groups that they are Arctic explorers adventuring across an icy tundra! Each team must build a (miniature) shelter on their desk from the materials provided before the storm hits in 30 minutes. The shelter will have to withstand the high winds (that will be produced by an electric fan). 

Ask them to select a leader.

Tell the group the following rules:

  • The team leader’s hands have frostbite, so he/she can’t physically help construct the shelter, only instruct using his/her voice.
  • The rest of the team has snow blindness and is unable to see. (They should cover their eyes with a blindfold).

When the 30 minutes is up, turn on the fan and see which shelter can withstand the high winds of the storm.

Ideas For Reflection

Questions for discussion:

  • What was most difficult in this exercise?
  • What was the role of the leader and how would it have been to perform the task without a leader?
  • What was the focus/aim of your group?
  • What unusual/creative ideas did you apply to make the construction fulfil the purpose (withstand the wind)?

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