Students are given specific tasks as they work together as a team to complete the building of a specific “hidden” structure. Students repeat building the hidden structure many times, switching tasks, and the addition of several factors, making the construction of the structure harder to complete.
Before the Lesson: The educator builds a simple structure with the building materials without students seeing and places it under a box, keeping the structure hidden.
Explore with students the “Exercising the Guns” illustration. Explain that the gun crew needed to practice and work as a team to complete their challenges, and that each member of the team had a specific task.
Educator breaks students up into teams of 3.
Educator assigns or allows students to pick a task: an Observer, a Messenger or a Builder.
Educator explains the goal and each student’s assigned task:
Educator explains the rules of the game:
Students begin and finish the team building challenge!
Try again. This time, switch the student’s tasks on the team.
Try again. Switch up the student’s jobs on the team, so that everyone has a chance to perform every task. They should be getting better at the challenge each time.
Now, make the challenge more difficult by adding different factors that will make the task harder to complete. The educator might have to alter the rules a little.
Wrap up the game with a discussion comparing the student’s challenge and tasks to the challenges the gun drill team faced aboard Constitution. Battle was noisy, stressful and very dangerous.
Furthering the Lesson