Shifting Shapes

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Shifting Shapes
Topic Leadership
Group Size 1-10
Prep Time 0-20 min
Setting Anywhere
Age Group
The Point How to lead

Back to Experiential Learning

Supplies Needed

  • 1 50 foot or longer rope, depending on the group size.
  • 1 blindfold for each participant

How to Set Up

Get a rope, longer is better because you can always make it smaller if need be by tying or cutting it off. Tie the rope into a complete circle. Find a place where you will have enough room to move the group around in. Either a large room or a field outdoors will suffice.

What Happens Then

Gather the group together and have each person tie on their blind fold. Then have each person grab onto the rope with both hands. Tell them that they can slide their hands along the rope, but that they cannot let go of the rope or peek at anytime. Make sure they understand and agree to these rules. At this point you can either pick a leader, have the team pick a leader, or not have any designated leader. With some groups it is beneficial to have no leader so that they can learn the value of leadership and so that you can see how the group handles a little chaos. Who steps up, and who shuts up are very informational for you as a group leader. Another interesting twist is to have only the leader be able to speak. This will force the leader to lead, while others will have little choice but to follow.

When leadership is taken care of, you should assign the team a shape to form with the rope. A good beginning shape is a line, followed by a square, triangle, right triangle (has one 90 degree corner), an equilateral triangle (all sides are perfectly the same length), a circle, an oval, etc You can even do letters or anything you imagination can think of.

When the team entire feels they have accomplished the given shape have them take off their blindfolds and see the results.

when the Activity is completely over ask them questions like:

  • how did you do as a team?
  • what was challenging?
  • Was it frustrating leading or being lead?
  • Why?
  • What went well?
  • What are ways you could have done it better?
  • What are good characteristics of a leader?
  • What are bad characteristics of a leaders?

Possible Problems

Minor safety issues with being blindfolded. Just make sure that their are no poles, chairs or trees in the vicinity and you should be fine.

Some people will get frustrated with this game, especially the type A people or the geometry wizes. This okay because you can talk about it later, but you might want to minimize the frustration and adjust the game so that the team can succeed even if there is a significant struggle in the process.

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