Planning and cooperation are essential for successful group work. This “Water Brigade” exercise will emphasize the importance of planning and cooperation between group members. It is an exercise that should be done outside rather than in a room.
- To show the importance of planning and cooperation.
- 30 minutes
- Two buckets with water
- Two basins
- Water measurer / beaker
- Divide the group in two groups with equal numbers.
- Ask each group to form a line.
- Place a bucket with water at the beginning of each line and an empty basin at the end of each line.
- Explain that the water has to be taken by the first person in the line from the bucket, using his hands. Then the water should be passed to the next person in the line until it reaches the end. The last person puts the water in the basin.
- Give a signal to start and let the process continue for 3 minutes, or until one of the groups has filled up the basin.
- Measure the water, discuss the process and ask if they could do better a second time.
- Repeat the procedure.
- Allow the group members to measure the water again.
Some guidelines for discussion
- Ask the winning group, why do they think that they finished first?
- Did they have any plan or strategy? What was this?
- Ask the other group, why do they think that they were not able to win?
- Do they think that they could improve the second time?
- Discuss which factors determine the success of group work.