Leadership, teambuilding, and communication are all key elements that lead to successful local and state officer teams. The following activities help students develop these skills.
Milling. Students learn ways to communicate when language is a barrier. The teacher/FBLA-PBL adviser should gather everything in a circle. Explain that there is to be no talking throughout the duration of the game. Have the group remain in a circle while you tape a piece of paper with a blue triangle, an orange star, or a red square on each person’s back. Choose one to three students to wear completely different figures than this, depending upon the class size. Once everyone has a figure taped to his/her back, begin the game by saying, “Go ahead and mill, but no talking.” As students mill around the room remind them, if necessary, not to talk. Some students may help others group up with like figures. Others may try to discourage this. After 15 minutes, ask the group to pull back in a circle. Encourage discussion. How did it feel to be given hardly anyrules to follow? What kinds of ways did you communicate without talking? For those of you that didn’t have any figures like the others, did you feel left out? If so, did you find yourselves joining other milling participants that seemed left out?
The Tie is in Style. Through this activity, students learn team sharing. Tape a finish line at the end of a large space. Have all students stand at the other end of the space in a straight line. The group is going to participate in a race, but the object of this race is to finish at the same time. The group should be encouraged to assist others if necessary during the race to keep everyone moving along at the same speed.
Go Figure! This activity is designed to help students learn to communicate effectively. The teacher/FBLA-PBL adviser will need a very long rope or several ropes that are tied together. Have everyone stand in a circle. Each person in the circle is blindfolded. The students grab (with both hands) onto the rope that extends around the inside of the circle. Once everyone has a hold of the rope, the rope ends should meet together at one person who will hold onto each end closing the circle. The group is asked to decide on a figure (diamond, triangle, square, pentagon, etc.) When the group has agreed on a figure, the teacher/FBLA-PBL adviser instructs the group to make the figure with their rope without letting go of the rope. When the group agrees as a whole that the figure is as close as it can possibly get, everyone will place their section of the rope on the floor, stand back, and look at their work.
Maze Maker. This activity is designed to build trust within a team. Blindfold half the group to play Maze Mice. Give the other half a long rope to make a maze with their bodies and chairs as anchors. Some students can hold the rope up about their heads, others can hold the rope at their wastes, and still others can bring the rope down low to the ground. You should remember to have a few dead ends in your maze. After the maze is built, those blindfolded will be lead to the beginning of the maze and, placing their hands on the rope, instructed to follow the rope to the finish line. The last maze anchorperson will tap each mouse twice on the shoulder when they are at the end of the maze. Have the Maze Makers and the mice switch.