Sunday, 5 February 2017

Creating a Collaborative Classroom: Team Building

This week I have focussed on creating a safe, inclusive and happy classroom environment.  One of my favourite tasks so far would have to be the one we completed on Friday.

Can You Draw It?

I'm not sure of this games exact name, but it is a variation of this team building exercise, found on Pinterest. This is what you need:
  • Groups of four - five is ok too, if one student is the instructor.
  • A felt tip pen with two strings tied to it, creating four pieces of string.
  • A2 or A3 paper for each group
  • A print out of a simple drawing
All you need: A felt-tip pen with two strings tied, a simple drawing and some A2 newsprint paper


  1.  Each group member holds a piece of string.  They each have a piece of A2 paper and a print out of a simple drawing.
  2. The group has to work together to replicate the simple drawing.
  3. Students must be holding onto the string, they cannot touch the pen.
The group with the best drawing wins!

This activity was lots of fun and pretty hilarious.  There was laughter and a bit of frustration, as teams worked together to draw the image.

Although this activity was meant to be fun, there were some more serious lessons which underpinned the students success.  The students had to work together. Everyone had to help out and take part.  If one group member decided not to try, then the pen would not stay upright and the team would struggle.

Moral of the lesson

Everyone must work together, if one person doesn't then it won't work.  This is the case for collaborative work.  It is crucial that everybody pitches in and helps out. In order to succeed, everyone needs to play a role and contribute to the group.

Once students had calmed down from the excitement, we had a discussion about what the point of this task was.  I was happy that they could relay that it was about the importance teamwork and everyone doing their bit.

Next week...

Next week I am planning to continue setting team building challenges for my classroom.  This is helping my learners to feel safe and confident in my classroom.  It is also building a collaborative environment - which is what my learners asked for. I am looking forward to watching my learners progress from shy to confident classmates.


  1. Hi Chelsea,

    What a great activity! It sounds like your class had a lot of fun and I'd be really interested to see what this would look like in my own classroom.

    1. Thanks Danni :) . You should have a go with your classroom. It would be interesting to see how another class finds it. It was a great way to realise the importance of everyone doing their bit.

  2. Chelsea it looks like you have created a very collaborative classroom already - good on you. I love the way all the students are so involved and intent on the task. I am sure they are going to be very happy with you! Kia kaha

    1. Thank you Anne! A collaborative classroom is a focus of mine, and also of my learners (since they all felt that they worked best when they worked with together). They really enjoyed the challenge of this activity, and the students who had great teamwork were the ones that were successful.We have made a positive start to the year :)

  3. This looks like a lot of fun, with lots of great underpinning messages - perfect as an ABL activity. I think I might use this for a Hauora revision task too, as it replicates the importance of all four walls of our wellbeing, if one is not the best it can be, the others are affected! Excited to see what you get up to in the coming weeks!

    1. It was a lot of fun! That is great, would love to see how this task works for older students. That sounds like a cool way to adapt it to your curriculum, and would be a great way to represent what happens when one of Hauora's dimensions is broken down. Will keep you updated on what I am doing :)


Tell me what you think!