Teams of four work best, so ideal group size is limited by the space you have available for teams of four.
Reviewing a topic. Energizing your classroom.
30 minutes is ideal.
Flip charts are ideal because you can turn them so the groups can’t see each other’s work. If you don’t have flip charts, white boards will work just fine. If no board is available, large sheets of paper will work. A marker for each student.
Divide the group into teams of four. Explain that you will give them a topic. They will have 30 seconds (or however long works best for your group) to brainstorm and list as many ideas as they can come up with. Here’s the kicker---they cannot speak. Each student must write his or her ideas on the board or paper you’ve provided. The team with the most ideas after the prescribed time wins that round.
Ask the winning team to present their ideas. Ask remaining teams to add any ideas the winning team missed and to correct any mistakes the winning team may have made. Proceed with the next challenge. Keep a running score on the front board.
ExampleIf you’re teaching speech, you might ask the groups to list non-verbals, fillers, and kinds of speeches. If you’re teaching nursing, you might ask for lists of muscles, bones, and shift-change check items. You get the drift.
Debrief by asking the group if working in teams helped or hindered. Did having a deadline help or hinder? Were they surprised by how many ideas they came up with, or didn’t?