Student Engagement

Water Carry

Material Needed: 10 paper cups, filled 3/4 full of water, cafeteria- type tray
Time Required: 20 minutes
Group Size: 4-12 (or break a larger group into smaller teams)
Purpose: Work as a team to reach a common goal, problem solving, communication methods

  1. Prior to the activity, fill ten paper cups with water about 3/4 full and place five at one end of the room (or outside area) on the ground and five at the other end. The cups should be at least 20 feet apart from each other if possible.

  2. Gather the group together in the middle of the room with a cafeteria- type tray placed on the ground and give them the following challenge. " You must retrieve all ten cups of water and place them on the tray without spilling any water.

  3. You may only get one cup from one end of the room a time. Before getting a second cup from that side of the room you must travel to the other side of the room with the tray and retrieve a cup from that side.

  4. When all ten cups of water are on the tray you must place it on the floor in the center of the room.

  5. By the way, each person can only use one foot and one hand for the entire duration of this activity, and if any water spills you must start over.

  6. Most groups will try to hop with the tray at first but this spills water. The best way to accomplish the task is to pass the try down a line and for the person at the end to hop to the front of the line so that the chain can continue all the way to the end of the line.

Debrief/ Discussion Questions:

  1. How did it feel to successful/ unsuccessful in this activity?

  2. Did anyone get frustrated at any time during this activity?

  3. Did you try different things before you cam up with a solution/

  4. Are you ever a part of a team and you just want to quit? When and how?

  5. How do you feel when you are a part of a team and you work together to accomplish a difficult task?

Jones, A. (1999). Team Building Activities for Every Group. Richland, WA: Rec Room Publishing. Pg. 146-147

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