The central idea for the grade 4 Adventure Challenge unit is "Effectively solving problems requires communication, trust, and an open mind." In order to really emphasize the importance of communication, trust, and having an open mind, I have started the unit off with a bunch of blindfold activities. In today's class the kids played 2 games, Blind Wars and Blindfold GOLD(see separate blog for description of Blind GOLD).
Description of Game
In this game the students are paired up on teams. in today's class there were 9 teams of 2. The teams are spread out around the perimeter of the gym. Partner A is blindfolded, Partner B is the "Navigator". The Navigator must give verbal cues to their partner without touching them in any way. The aim is to help the blindfolded partner navigate their way around the gym picking up dodgeballs along the way. Through verbal cues such as "left, right, walk straight, bend down, reach forward etc., the Navigator must help their blindfolded partner locate balls and then describe where to aim and throw. Only blindfolded people can throw the ball. They are trying to hit either blindfolded students or Navigators. It is the responsibility of the Navigator to really think about the way they are communicating as the blindfolded partner is totally dependent on them. I put a time limit of about 5-7 minutes on the game and then have partners switch roles. This way each has a chance to be the Navigator and the Blindfolded.
Obviously safety is of utmost importance. Before the game starts safety and the need for trust are thoroughly discussed. I stress that there is no need to throw the ball hard. A simple toss is as effective.
Key Questions and Considerations
1. How can you best communicate with your partner?
2. How trustful were your actions?
Upon playing the game for the first time possible questions
3. How did your team perform in the game?
4. What can be done to improve upon your performance?
Please see slide show below for examples of assessment that I had the students complete as a cool down activity. Essentially, I had them show levels of trust, communication, and how open minded they were through bar graphs. Bar graphs are a simple way(and effective) to have the students reflect on their performance. This assessment task had them evaluate their own performance and their partner's.