I used this idea from the amazing website - http://greatsolutions.blogspot.com/2008/12/chain-link.html
Today during TA my 7th graders were asked to perform the following task
strips of paper, roughly 1/2" wide and 12" long
(how many depends upon how large your group is...plan for about a dozen strips per person)
a roll of tape
(more if you are trying this with a large group)
You have strips of paper and a roll of tape to work with. Your task is to work together to create a festive paper chain. The catch? You'll do this back to back, keeping your hands behind your back and your face forward. Communication and cooperation is key! You have five minutes to create a paper chain as long as possible. When time expires, your chain will be measured; for every 12 consecutive links, you will receive ten bonus points. Unattached links receive no credit.
I gave them about 14 minutes to see what they could do. Needless to say I was rather impressed by the end result as we ran out of paper. It was interesting to watch them work.
The first thing they did was divide up into two groups(boys and girls). Funny how middle school operates.
They then created an assembly line approach where each team selected one as a taper and the rest just partnered up and assembled.
The key piece was to leave enough extra pieces to connect them all since we were running short on supplies.
In the end we were able to connect 84 pieces. This required some serious teamwork with a TA that needs to work on these skills. They had to problem solve and make sure they shared in the work. This is hard for some to do as they just want to do it all their way. Others have a hard time learning how to operate as a team. It was a good experiment.
We look forward to seeing if any TA can top 84. If so, then we are up for a challenge to improve since we did run out of paper.