Team Building Blocks

Type of Activity:  Problem-Solving, Communication

Props Needed:  16 blocks, 8 pairs of like colors, Stopwatch

Directions:  Split the group into two even groups.  Give one group a completed block tower made up of 8 pieces, give the other group the 8 single pieces.  Instruct the group with the completed tower that they must explain to the other group their exact tower, matching colors and block size.  Instruct the other group that they must build an exact replica of the tower the other group has.  Each group will send one person to a designated information sharing place for 30 seconds.  During that 30 seconds the two can share as much information as possible.  Neither group can bring the pieces to the information sharing zone.  After the 30 seconds is up they return to their groups for 30 seconds.  When that 30 seconds is up two different people then go to the designated sharing zone.  They get 30 seconds to share info, then back for 30 seconds, then two other people for 30 seconds, and back for 30, etc.  Complete this process until everyone has had a chance to visit the information sharing zone.  Once this process is complete, have the groups bring their pieces to the center to see if they have matching pieces. 

Debriefing Topics:

  • How did you attempt to communicate to the other team?
  • Did you listen to the needs of the other group or were you more concerned about giving the  information?
  • Why is it important to create a shared mental model?
  • Would it have been helpful to create a common language around the pieces?

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