Interactive task helping divide larger groups into smaller teams
Step by Step Instructions:
- Have the group gather together
- Decide on a category and announce this to the group. The category can be
something like everybody wearing the same color pants.
- Have everybody look around and move closer together to those who match their color.
- Follow up with categories that divide groups in half, as well as other categories
that would split all members of the group. This will thoroughly mix up the group.
How to Play
Making connections, what is the simplest way? A smile, a warm handshake or even
better, finding out if somebody else enjoys the same things you do. This activity does
just that, makes connections using common interests.
Once the group has gathered together, ask everyone to move into smaller groups
according to the categories announced.
For instance, you announce everyone must group together with those who are wearing the same color top. Those wearing blue get together, while those wearing green and so on form their own smaller groups.
Each group can then label themselves in order to identify each of them. The next step is to announce another category, thus splitting the groups again. This can carry on until you have the required number of smaller groups or until you can’t come up with any more categories. Basically, the aim is to divide people up randomly into groups.
You can select categories, which split groups in half or even choose something that splits all group members up. Listed below are a few examples:
Splitting the group in half:
- What is your address number? Split between odd and even numbers.
- Take the last digit of your cell phone number. Again, split between odd and even numbers.
- Are you a cat or a dog person
- Do you prefer to cook a meal or wash the dishes
- When clasping your hands together, with fingers interlocked, which thumb is
positioned on top? Is it the left or right one?
- Are you a person who prefers to bath or shower
- Are you a tea or coffee person
- When folding your arms in front of you, which arm is over the top? Left, or right?
Splitting all group members up:
- What is the colour of… your hair, eyes, clothes?
- Within your family, are you the youngest, the oldest or are you the middle child?
- How many brothers or sisters do you have, include yourself as 1
- What season of the year does your birthday fall into?
- What month were you born in?
- Do you prefer chocolate, strawberry, vanilla or no ice-cream?
Useful Framing Tips
Everybody has qualities and characteristics that they share with others, but each of us also has unique elements about ourselves. There are many ‘categories’ or groups
people can fall into, some of them we are not even conscious of. As we begin the
exercise, we will find out more about ourselves.
In today’s world, many people are always criticizing and pointing out other’s faults and differences. What if we can turn that around and focus on the similarities we have. Wouldn’t this be a more positive and compelling way to interact with others?
We assume too much sometimes and that includes understanding each other. It will
become apparent, while we all take part in this activity, that we will actually learn
something new about each other. This will be true even if you have known the person
for a long time!
Practical Leadership Tips
There are many resources available that can help you to successfully present a fun and interactive ice-breakers. You might want to divide a large group evenly in half but can’t find a category that would do this. The next best thing would be to simply divide the group yourself, to even things out.
There might be times when using this activity, especially with kids, that there will be
somebody left alone. This is rare, as everyone has something in common with others.
You can make this situation into a teachable moment, everyone has similarities, but are also unique in many ways.
To really get the group to mix it up, you can move between dividing groups in half and then throw in a category that splits all members up into more than two different groups. The aim is to help members to interact with each other and to develop trust. The more people get to know and feel comfortable with each other, the more the overall the programme will be successful.
We all know how easy it is to form cliques when dividing into groups. This activity helps to prevent that by providing categories that will divide groups randomly.
Debriefing, Reflection Tips & Strategies
Asking questions after an activity is a great way to reflect and review. Here are a few
questions, which will help group members and process their experience of the game
- What were your observations as you played the game? Did you see and hear
- Does this activity have anything to do with our individuality?
- What do you think the purpose of the game was?
There are a huge number of different categories you can choose from. Here are a few
- What is your favorite movie category?
- Do you bathe in the morning or evening?
- How many cell phones in the home?
- Do you prefer to get bad news and then good news or vice versa?
- Do you go for comfort or style when it comes to shoes?
- What is your preferred position when sleeping?
- How do you like your eggs?
- Do you prefer still or sparkling water?
- What mode of public transport do you prefer?
- Do you drink your hot beverage with or without sugar?
- Simple, rapid execution
- Breaks down cliques
- Forms random smaller teams
- No props