Activities Interactive Groups

Activities to practice working in interactive groups

The activities usually take about 15-20 minutes. There are two options: either you prepare 2-3 different activities that the groups do in a rotation system or all the groups work on the same task at the same time. What is essential is that at the end of the class all of them have done all the activities, because it is the way to ensure that they all work on the same contents. These activities should be planned to start with easier tasks for the participants to gain confidence and then to gradually increase the difficulty.

Example 1: Class organisation forms

The participants are working in three groups. Each group has one kind of class organization form. The handout has a picture and a short explanation of the most important features of the particular class form, the trainer can explain it, too (see handout and video animation to the exercise). Then there are questions to each class form that the participants have to discuss and answer according to their own experience.

- Mixture

Does this model work?

What could be problematic?

How was it in your school?

Would you like to learn like this?

- Streaming

Is this a good model?

What are the advantages and the disadvantages?

How was it in your school?

Would you like to learn like this?

- Inclusion

How do you find this model?

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

How was it in your school?

Would you like to learn like this?

The groups get 15 minutes to discuss their model, after that they swap the handouts and discuss the next model. With the three models the discussion takes about 45 minutes. After that the groups compare their findings and decide on the best model (in their opinion).

Example 2: Celebrating Ramadan

The participants are asked to do a task in three groups. The topic of the exercise is Ramadan, and their task is to prepare a party for the sugar feast.

- The first group is responsible for the organization and the program of the festivities, with the questions:

  1. Where are we celebrating?
  2. How many guests are coming?
  3. What will we prepare for eating and drinking?

- The second group has the task of organizing entertainment at the party. Their questions are:

  1. What kind of music will be played?
  2. Is there a live band or a DJ?
  3. Are we going to dance?
  4. How do children celebrate Ramadan?

- The third group is working on general information about Ramadan.

  1. When do we celebrate Ramadan?
  2. Who celebrates Ramadan?
  3. Why do we celebrate Ramadan?

The three groups work for 15 minutes on their tasks and then they swap tables and tasks and work on with the next set of questions. After all 3 activities have been finished in all groups, they collect and discuss the results.

Example 3: Human knot

This exercise is aimed at explaining and demonstrating team work.

Everyone stands in a circle and puts their right hand into the middle. They clasp hands with someone across the circle. Then, everyone puts their left hand into the middle of the circle and clasps the hand of a different person. The group is now in a “knot”. The object is for the group to untangle itself without releasing anyone’s hand. This exercise shows how a team needs to work together in order to achieve a common goal. The trainer must make sure that the team communicates effectively so that the group “unties themselves”. This involves every member of the team communicating clearly and simply in order to let the other members of the group know what it is necessary for them to do in order for the group to ‘untie’ itself. The trainer must make sure that the group members do not talk to one another.

Example 4: Making posters

The group was asked to divide itself in small groups of 2 or 3 participants. Each group had participants of different ages (a young one/s and elder one/s). The trainer gave materials to the groups – paper, scissors, glue, colour paper, ribbons, coloured pencils, etc. Each group had to make a poster for advertising the IT course. The groups had 30 minutes to do the exercise. The aim of the exercise was to show the heterogeneous approach and to make participants in the group have trust in their partners. The posters were hanged to the walls of the computer room to give participants additional motivation and to raise their self-esteem.