As part of a community building activity students in Mrs. Belson’s 5th grade classroom were given the task to form a line and pass a ball from one end of the line to the other. Sounds easy, right? Not so much when the assignment comes with a few interesting requirements.
The line was formed with students laying with their backs on the ground and their legs/feet propped up against a wall and were only allowed to pass the ball using their legs/feet; no hands were allowed to touch the ball. If the ball dropped and hit the ground, or if they touched it with their hands, the team had to start over.
Mrs. Belson explained that the goal of the activity was to foster and inspire teamwork and a sense of community. When the activity was completed there was an opportunity for the teams to debrief, reflect and discuss their thoughts about the activity. Belson shared the following student driven information from those discussions.
1. If one person does a skill well, they are still dependent on their teammates to achieve their collective goal. No one is successful unless they are all successful.
2. The feeling of excitement, pride and happiness that everyone felt when they overcame their obstacles (whether making it to the other end, or just getting past the pass-over) is something that we all want to strive for. Even though one group may not have been 'successful' with the task given, they were still encouraged after setting smaller goals to reach their end task. This group will have the opportunity to try it again in the future.
3. Practice, practice, practice! It took 30 minutes of perseverance to get it done!
4. Encouraging and cheering on others only lifts their classmate's spirits and is motivation to help the team.
Belson proudly shared, “We have applied all of these reflections into our classroom and school day, focusing on how we are a community, supporting each other. It is reflected in their newly written classroom rule: Have a supportive and inclusive classroom environment."
Photo Credits: Mrs. Sarah Belson