Type of Initiative: Icebreaker
Source: Playing With A Full Deck, by Michelle Cummings and The Possiblesbag Teambuilding Kit Activity Manual, Chris Cavert
Group Size: Best played with 16 or more players.
Props Needed: playing cards, one per participant
Setting up the Cards:
You’ll want to arrange the Cards in order from Aces to Kings with each rank (number) in hearts, Diamonds, Spades and Clubs, for example: the Aces are stacked Ace of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds, Ace of Spades, Ace of Clubs. Stack the twos the same way and the threes and so on through the deck.
Playing the Game: Deal out a Card, starting with the Aces, to each player in the group—ask them not to look at the face of the Card (if they accidentally do, have them exchange their Card with someone else in the group that already has a Card). When each player has a Card you will be asking the group to arrange themselves into smaller groups based on what you tell them. Players are not allowed to look at their Card and may not tell another player what his or her Card is in any way—players may not “sign language” another players Card. Here is a suggested order:
1. Arrange yourselves into groups based on the color of your Card.
2. Arrange yourselves into 4 groups based on the suit of your Card.
3. Arrange yourselves into groups of like rank (number or face).
4. Arrange yourselves into pairs based on the like color and rank (use this one only if everyone will end up with a partner) or…..
5. Arrange yourselves in order by suit and rank, Ace being the #1.
By ending with partners or small groups you can move into an activity that requires the resulting size. This is also a great way to break up any ‘cliques’ that may be in the group as the end result is very random. See the activity, Cut the Deck, on other ideas of how to split up a group.
Possibilities: You could ask the players to do a blind shuffle with 5 other players, meeting and greeting, before calling the next grouping—this throws off any hint of the Card they have. Also, since you were using the low numbers of the deck, moving into the activity, What You Say, works well.
- Was it hard not to look at your card? Why?
- How did the group help each other?
- What did it feel like once you were ‘placed’ into a group?
Learning styles utilized from the 7 Kinds of Smart: ~self smart, people smart, picture smart
Purchase from the Training Wheels store: Playing With a Full Deck, Jumbo Playing Cards, Colossal Playing Cards, Mini Playing Cards, Round Playing Cards
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