Photo showing 5 different towers made out of LEGO bricks, on display side by side. Each tower varies in height and construction because each was made by a different group of students as part of a teamwork activity.
Small teams build towers out of LEGO bricks -- with some caveats to challenge their teamwork &/or creativity.
- 2-5 individuals per group
- randomly assigned or deliberately mixed (mix of learning styles, or mix those who don't usually work together)
- A nearly-identical collection of misc. LEGO bricks for each group (about 70 bricks of various sizes, see *** for an example "mini-kit")
- Ample, clear, stable desktop or tabletop space for each group
- Timer (with alarm/buzzer/bell) or highly visible clock
- Optional: a large, flat tray (cookie sheet or cafeteria tray or box lid) for each group, to contain LEGO pieces while working, to avoid spills/loss
- ~15 minutes total, minimum
- Add 10 minutes for each repeat with variations
- Reserve 5 minutes for debrief and cleanup
- Do not start building until given the "lego" signal.
- You will be given a limited time ([__] minutes) to build, you must stop building when given the "stop" signal.
- Your objective is to build the tallest free-standing tower possible.
- Everyone in your group must participate.
- You must use only the LEGO pieces you are given. (may not share/trade/give/steal)
- If your tower falls, you may start over, but you will not be given extra time.
- The only other rule(s) you must follow is(are)...
[choose one or more of the Rule Variations below]
- Wiggle your fingers in the air to show you are ready to build. Ready...set...LEGO!
- [Give 5-10 minutes for each building activity.]
- Each of you must take turns adding bricks to the tower; 1 brick per person per turn. No touching bricks when it is not your turn.
- You may not talk.
- Each of you must keep one hand behind your back at all times.
- One person in the group may not touch the LEGO pieces, and the others may not talk.
[or vice-versa][Teacher/facilitator decides who; pick the most grabby one of the group.]
- If your tower falls over, you will automatically lose. Build so your tower doesn't fall over!
- If anyone drops a piece (or knocks a piece so that it falls), that piece must be removed ("out of play") for the rest of the activity.
- You will have only 1 minute to build.
- You are allowed to share pieces. [Say no more. This could potentially result in the whole class building one large tower together, but don't give away that option.]
- We're going to reflect on this activity now. Let's keep our comments positive, please. The point of this activity was to have fun and learn about teamwork.
- Look around at other towers. What do you notice?
- Those who made the tallest tower: What was your strategy?
- Did anyone see or hear any creative ideas?
- Did anyone see or hear great examples of teamwork?
- What were the hard parts of this activity?
- Thinking back on what you did, how could you have been a better teammate? Share these thoughts with your group.
- Please put the LEGO sets back in order, and check the area for lost pieces. Thank you!
- Give awards/recognition for:
- tallest tower
- best teamwork
- most perseverance
- most creative, etc.
- Make simple little LEGO "trophies" or "plaques" for awards.
- Take photos of each group with their tower &/or awards.