This week, an activity to provoke questions about being a leader. Plus, scroll down for how you can help develop leadership in your students.
Stimuli: The Human Knot
Skills of leadership and teamwork are so frequently encouraged, discussing them can be difficult, because in P4C it’s not our job to encourage a particular point of view. It might be if we are giving an assembly, but not when facilitating. So experiential stimuli, followed by a chance to reflect, is an honest way of opening up discussion, since we can’t predetermine what the experience is going to be like. We recommend the “Do, Reflect, Discuss” model:
Put children in groups of between 6 and 8. The team members start in a circle, shaking hands with someone else across the circle. They then do the same with the other hand, connecting to two different people at the same time, until they form a human knot, with arms tangled together.
The challenge is to untangle without breaking contact. A group may find that they resolve into two circles, either separate or linked like a chain. Most groups manage this OK – depending on how they’ve connected, they may finish up in two circles, or with some people are facing outwards.
It can be interesting to add a second round, in which you invite the teams to make it more difficult for themselves. Someone can face out, or be blindfolded by wearing a hoodie back to front and so on.
Give everyone a chance to reflect on how their group solved the challenge, by first talking to a partner and then to the class about:
- Did anyone emerge as the leader? If so, how?
- When did this happen?
- Did anyone give them the authority to lead?
Next, move to more general questions about leadership. You could pick the one or two from below that connects with what came out during the reflections.
- Do leaders always need to be chosen?
- When might it be best for someone to choose themselves as a leader?
- Does every team need a leader?
- How do you know when someone is a leader?
- What are the “must have” qualities of a leader?
- Are there some things all leaders should always do?
- Can someone lead without knowing it?
Leadership Days for Your School
This time last year, we set up Hidden Leaders. We had a simple goal – to help schools unearth every child’s inner leader. Most often, we do this through pop-up events for a whole year-group, run by our staff on your school premises.
Since then, we’ve worked in a wide range of schools across the UK – primary and secondary, state and independent and we’re delighted that all of our schools have rebooked for 2024. Watch the video below for a taste of what we do.
Also, hear what schools say about us here. We’d love to see how we can help your school in 2024, no matter where you are in the UK. Get in touch below to start a chat.
PS: Everyone can also download “Table-top Team Building” – ten simple, low-prep challenges for the classroom!
Tom and Jason