Activity 6: Crossover


  • Brainstorm and share strategies to ensure completion of the activity
  • Work cooperatively with a partner while support a whole group
  • Coordinate movements
  • Discuss their experience and feelings

Character Focus



Time: 1 minute
1 Toobeez square (made from two foot long tubes)
1 envelope
chart paper (optional)

  1. Place the Risk Taking Note into an envelope.
  2. Build the Toobeez square and place it on the ground.

The Challenge

The entire group must quickly move from one side to the other by switching places with a partner.

Safety Reminders!

Appropriate caution is important to conduct these activities in a safe manner. Be sure to review these reminders prior to beginning the activity, and if necessary, share reminders with the group during the activity.

  • Follow general safety procedures
  • Be sure group members use caution when approaching the square to avoid collisions

Helpful hints

  • This is a deceptively simple looking activity…until you try it. If you have a group of ten doing this activity, it is relatively simple. However, if you have a group of 15 or 20, watch out! The challenge arises in large groups because participants have greater difficulty sharing ideas
  • If you have a group larger than 20 people, split the group into two groups

Activity Instructions

  1. Circle up the group. Distribute or display the appropriate “Risk Taking Note” for the activity. Have one participant read it aloud twice. Provide a few moments for the participants to think about the message:
    “It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.” - Albert Einstein
  2. Share the following storyline with group.
    You are all working to open a secret door that is just below the Toobeez square. The only way that it will open is if it hears a certain code in the fastest time. In order to make sure that the door understands the code, you must work together!
  3. Read aloud the following Activity Challenge Box to the group.
    Challenge: The entire group must quickly move from one side to the other by switching places with a partner. Follow the guidelines below:
    • Partners must step into the square at the same time
    • One pair goes at one time
    • Participants may not touch anyone at any time during this activity (including clothing)
    • Partners must be across from each other at the start and end of the activity
    • The square may not be changed
    • If any guidelines are broken, the group must begin again
  4. Before the participants attempt an activity challenge, have the group work through the following six steps:
  5. Problem Solving Sequence:

    1. Circle up
    2. Know and understand the challenge and the guidelines
    3. Brainstorm
    4. Make a plan
    5. Do the plan
    6. Evaluate results and adjust as necessary
  6. Have the group surround the square. Participants should identify their partner as the person standing directly across from them. The goal is to change places with your partner as quickly as possible. If there is an odd number of people have “partnership” form out of a group of three.
  7. Time starts when facilitator says “go” and stops when everyone is finished crossing. The group will be allowed five tries to get the lowest time.
  8. Be sure to monitor group for safety as they attempt the activity.
  9. If participants get stuck, have the students circle up again. Here are some suggested questions to help guide the group back on track*:
    • What is working?
    • What ideas have you not tried yet that someone suggested?
  10. If your group is still struggling OR if you feel your group would benefit from an additional challenge, present a variation provided on the next page.
  11. After the activity, move to the debriefing questions for discussion.

Activity Variations

  1. Create a small square.
    Create a smaller square using the shortest tubes. The short tubes make it much more difficult to touch inside the square simultaneously.

Debriefing the Activity

Use these debriefing questions as a guide for your discussion. Select the questions you feel will best benefit your group. It is not mandatory to cover every question. If possible, record the group’s responses on flip chart paper so all comments are displayed. Make sure to let everyone share their ideas, and remind participants that everyone’s opinions and feelings are important!

Base questions for debriefing:

  • How did you feel while you did the activity?
  • What was one of the challenges of doing this activity?
  • What did the group have to do or believe to be successful?
  • What advice would you give to another group working on this activity?
  • How did it feel working with a partner that you did not choose?
  • How can you apply what you just learned to other challenges you face?

If the group was unable to complete the task in the given time:

  • What do you think you would have needed to do in order to succeed?
  • Since you were not able to solve the problem, does it mean your group is a failure? (Push the group to respond with more than a “yes” or “no” and to instead point out and discuss what they learned.)

Additional questions: Choose which ones are the most appropriate:

  • How do you work to keep improving your work with others?
  • What was one positive thing that happened during the challenge?
  • What did a fellow team member do that was really helpful?
  • Did you try different ideas? If so, why did you change your approach

Close on a Positive Note

Sum up the different ideas and feelings that you heard expressed, and restate ideas and learning moments the participants shared. Then, read the Risk Taking Note out loud again, and ask people to discuss what they think this note means. Discuss what they thought it meant at the beginning and what they think it means now.

* (ˆ) Do not provide the participants with answers. Allow them to work together.