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Tent Pole

Tent Pole

Props/Prep: Yes
Time: 10-20 min
Audience: Any (teams)
Physical: Yes

This activity can be used for many different reasons. The most obvious is to illustrate through participation, the value of cooperation and teamwork. You can set this up with one group performing in front of the rest of the class, or you can arrange multiple teams in the room, and have the teams compete to see who finishes first. A great activity to help teams bond, or set the stage for a conversation about cooperation. 

Time Requirements: One ‘round’ of the game only takes about 10 minutes.

Materials needed: You will need to bring 1 long collapsible tent pole for each group of students (each group should be 6-10 students). 

Each group should have 6-10 participants. Place the tent pole on the floor in the middle of the group. Explain that the group must pick up the tent pole to waist height while standing using only their extended index fingers on both hands. All players should prepare their hands by keeping their hands in fists except for their pointer fingers. When you give the signal, each team tries to successfully lift the tent pole off the ground and bring it to waist height without dropping the pole or having the pole collapse. If a group drops the pole, then they must start lifting it again from the floor. You let them compete until the first team wins, or perhaps you will want all teams to experience success; after all, speed does not equal quality all of the time.

Option: Have the group start with the pole on their hands and move it down to the floor, or you can have them transport it from Point A to Point B. 

Function in class: This activity is great to demonstrate cooperation, compromise, and teamwork. It can be used at the beginning of a class to set the stage for a discussion about professional skills, or at the end of a class to illustrate good group process.