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An activity to learn about risk

Through this exercise, learners will also develop finger and hand strength (also known as fine motor development).
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Tricky Tower is a fun activity that allows learners to take risks and persist with the challenge. All you need for this activity is a set of Six Bricks for each learner. But remember to have some extra sets available. Start individually by asking learners to build a tower as modelled by the teacher by stacking the bricks vertically. Short end to short end using one hand. Next, pair up the learners and challenge them to create the tallest tower in the group as a team. As a team, they have to create the tallest tower in just two minutes. This requires them to balance the desire for adding height with the risk of the tower falling.
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To help learners reflect afterwards, the teacher can ask how they agreed on how to build or how they agreed on when to stop building in the final round.
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This activity is about risk taking, which is why the last part of the activity is really where the learners experience the challenge. The communication element of the game can be scaled up by asking them to build with their non dominant hand or even blindfolding one of the learners in the pair. Only allowing the blindfolded person to build.
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If you want to make the activity a bit easier, let learners use both hands or allow them to build a tower where the bricks are stacked horizontally. Now it’s your turn. Have fun with Tricky Towers.

Tricky Tower is a great activity for training learners how to take risks, persist with a challenge, and develop their own ideas in a team. Through this exercise, learners will also develop finger and hand strength (also known as fine motor development).

What you need

One set of six bricks. Although it’s also useful to have some extra sets available.

How to play

Start by asking learners to build a tower on their own by stacking the bricks vertically, short end to short end, using one hand.

Next, pair up the learners and challenge them to create the tallest tower in the group, using only one hand. The learners will find that standing the bricks up makes it more likely to fall.

End the activity by asking the teams to create the tallest tower in just two minutes using their non-dominant hand. This requires them to balance the desire for adding height with the risk of the tower falling.

Key questions/reflections for learners

How did you reach agreement on how to build?

Why do you need to talk before you work?

Whose ideas did you use and why?

How did you reach agreement on when to stop building (in the final round)?

What did you learn about managing risk in a team?

Scale up/down

Scale up, task the learners with building the tallest tower using only their elbows and wrists.

If you want to make the activity a bit easier, let learners use both hands.

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Social Learning and Collaboration in School: Learning to Thrive through Play

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