School assemblies present an opportunity to promote team building, cooperation and school spirit. While most students learn cooperative and leadership skills on a smaller scale within the classroom, school assemblies challenge students to work within a larger community of their peers. Team-building activities that include the student body as a whole give students background experience that can increase the transfer of skills from school to community.
Building a Safety Net
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Group students of the same grade into teams of five. You can either have one team per grade, or if you wish, include a majority or all of the students attending the assembly by making several teams. If you intend to involve the whole student body, be sure to assign students to a team ahead of time. Provide each team with an array of materials, such as feathers, fabric, tape, straw, scissors, plastic cups, scraps of carpet, pieces of foam and a shoebox. Give students 10 minutes to work together to construct a safety net for an egg to fall into without breaking from various heights ranging from 4 feet to 8 feet. Once students have constructed their safety nets, have staff members drop eggs into their nets starting at the 4-foot mark on a ladder to 8 feet. Have the groups that have built the most effective nets share their methods as well as how they worked as a team with the rest of the assembly.
School Spirit Relay Race
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In this activity, students must relay a hat from one group to the next while performing tasks that require concentration and teamwork. You may choose to have two teams racing or multiple teams racing depending on how much participation you would like from the student body. Start the relay by giving a hat to two students who have a leg tied together like in a three-legged race. The two students must run to the next pair of students and give them the hat. The next two students must take the hat and pick up a balloon to transport to the next pair of students without using their hands or arms. Once the pair with the balloon reaches the next pair, they must give them the hat without using their hands or arms. The final pair of students will take the hat and race with it to the finish line while carrying eggs on plastic spoons. If one drops the egg before reaching the finish line, they must go back to their starting place and begin again.
If you wish to include more stops in the relay race, consider having a pair of students do a wheelbarrow race, another pair carry water balloons without using their hands or arms or another pair crab walk to the next stop.
Giant Telephone Game
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This game can include as many or as few students as you'd like it to. Have two or more groups of students line up side by side with a staff member at the start of the line and one at the end. Have the staff members at the start of the line begin with the same phrase, and have them pass it on to the student to their left by whispering it. Each student must relay the message to the student to his left in the same manner until it reaches the staff member at the end of the line. Be sure to remind students that you will reward both speed and accuracy at the end of the game to deter those students who may be tempted to alter the message purposely. The staff member at the end of the line will act as a "safety net" to filter anything inappropriate that may have made it into the message. Reward the teams that relayed the message the most quickly and accurately.