(About a 15-minute read. The Channels Project is a migration and updated post - it was first shared at the FUNdoing.com Blog. We are moving theoretical posts to OnTeamBuidling in an effort to organize content.)
NOTE from Chris: This is an example of some 'Deep Work' programming - not meant to be quick and easy. The Channels Project combines team building behaviors and learning to understand the New Bloom's Taxonomy and how it can influence mindful experiences.
Those of you familiar with the original Bloom's Taxonomy know that it is a "classification of learning objectives" divided between the Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor learning domains. The intended goal of the Taxonomy, "is to motivate educators to focus on all three domains [and the different "levels" or "ways" of thinking], creating a more holistic form of education."
Using this New Taxonomy as a teacher (over the last 20 years), helped me focus on designing test questions that touched on the all the "orders" of thinking - including some basic "fact-based" questions like defining terms (lower-order thinking), up to "creating" something like a skills-based drill to practice throwing a ball (higher-order thinking).
What I like the most about this revision to Bloom's is the inclusion of the "creating" process - something we like to do in adventure education. Creating is at the higher order thinking skill level in this new model and as an evaluation focus helps me to see what a student can put into practice. (Here is an 8-minute read for more, from Dr. Robert Talbert: Re-Thinking Bloom's Taxonomy for Flipped Learning Design.)
A similar article (no longer available), back in 2012, inspired the Channels Project. Shortly after this 2012 read I set out to create an activity that could move a group through the ways of thinking to help educator groups understand and remember the areas of the revised (or 'new') Bloom's. The interesting discovery was that the ways of thinking are also obvious question prompts for the reflective process throughout the activity and during the processing session after the activity.
The final twist to exploring the New Bloom's here is the notion of 'flipping' the model. We don't always have to start with lower-order thinking experiences (e.g., easy team building activities) and move up to something more complex. It's completely doable to jump into the complex and then back-track down the orders to uncover the learnings.
So, here we go!
The Channels Project
Needs & Numbers (for each group in play):
The Channels Project Directions
The Channels Project works well with 8 to 10 in a group. Multiple groups can work through it at the same time. (Maybe some collaborative interaction can happen?)
Time: This one has the potential to go for 30 to 90 minutes depending on the group(s) and the time you spend with discussions (and collaborations with multiple groups). Consider the possibility of spending two class sessions on this one if you are working in a school context.
Set-Up: (For each group of 10 to 12 participants.) Mark the corners of a 25-foot sided square boundary area (can be indoors or outdoors) with the four cones. Place one chair inside the boundary area about 5 feet from each corner and an equal distance from each side. Place the wide-mouthed container directly in the center of the boundary area (wide-mouth up). Place one rollable object, that has been placed in a small cup (or bowl), at each of the corners of the boundary area - just outside the boundary area. Set down all the other supplies somewhere near the outside of the boundary area.
Objective: (Here is one possible script to introduce the activity):
The objective of The Channels Project is to create a transportation system of channels inside the boundary area designed to move all the 'vital resources' (small rollable objects in the cups) from their place of origin (the cups can be Factories ) to the central container (the Warehouse).
The expectation is to move all the vital resources available to you into the warehouse in 20 minutes.
At some point during the movement of each vital resource, it must include the following action steps while inside the boundary area [read from 'The Channels Project Directions' handout you will be giving the group]:
Each vital resource must 1) STAY OFF the ground (or Floor), 2) roll OVER something, 3) go UNDER something, 4) move AROUND something, 5) travel THROUGH something, 6) go BETWEEN two things, 7) travel HORIZONTALLY outside the channels, 8) drop DOWN through the air, and 9) move UPWARD.
These actions do not need to go in the order listed on the directions I have for you; they simply need to be included with each vital resource. [Even though my groups have asked me to clarify some of these requirements, I've simply said, I will leave that up to you, as a group, to decide how you integrate these actions.]
During the activity I will also ask you to adhere to the following Rules of Play: [Reading from the handout again, I share these Rules of Play before letting the group(s) start their work.]
Continue with the following information before the group is allowed to begin:
Please use the blank paper found in your supplies to diagram your plan of action. Included in The channels Project Directions, there is a graphic called, Bloom's Taxonomy. Reference this list attributes as you work through the planning of your transportation system.
Here's the idea...
After creating your transportation system plan evaluate and analyze how it works - you can practice your plan outside of the boundary area. Think about possible improvements to your system and apply changes if needed. After you reach your objective (or not, due to time limitations or loss of supplies), we'll take some time to talk about what you've come to understand and want to remember about your experience.
If you were unable to meet the objective in 20-minutes, you can plan and implement another attempt today or the next time we meet.
I'm now ready to answer any questions you have before starting the activity.
As you can see, this experience will take time to work through. Use some of this time to check in with you group(s) and prompt some thinking and discussion about what's happening during the process , as well as the end. Here are some questions to consider:
I believe programming 'projects' like this can help our students (and other clients) dig into Deep Work. Life is not alway about 140 characters. Diving into a longterm endeavor builds tenacity and resilience. We can forge relationships because we get to know our group over time, through failures and success. We'll disagree but find common ground. We'll get to the end and determine what we did well and what we need to improve. Then, together, we'll take on the next project.
What other Deep Work can we program as team builders? We'd love to hear your ideas - leave us a Comment.
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an educator, author and trainer. His passion is helping team builders learn and grow.