Broken Squares Activity

You can use this activity to allow pupils to explore their contribution to a group, their social skills and cooperation.

It would be a good activity to do for form time.

You will need to make the squares shown in the picture below. All pieces with the same letter must be the same size.

Label five envelopes 1,2,3,4,5 and distribute the cards into the envelopes as follows: envelope 1: I,H,E, envelope 2: AAAC, envelope 3: AJ, envelope 5: DF and envelope 5: GBFC. Write the envelope number on the pieces.


Each table is given all five envelopes. Their task is to make five squares of the correct size.

No member may speak.

No member may ask another member for a piece or in any way signal that another person is to give him or her a piece, however, members may voluntarily give pieces to the other members.

After the activity

Ask the pupils to consider some or all of these questions:

1. What happened first? What strategies were used in the beginning?

2. What were you each individually thinking in the first few minutes?

3. What happened next? Did strategies shift?

4. Did someone make a move that shifted the group’s approach or in some way broke the log jam?

5. Did anyone appear to be left out?

6. What roles did you individually have?

7. What did you become aware of about yourself regarding cooperation and competition?

8. What insight/awareness did you get about groups in cooperative tasks?teaching tip 16122013