Zoom Team Building Activity

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This activity is based on the picture books “Zoom” and “Re-Zoom” by Istvan Banyai which consist of 30 sequential “pictures within pictures”. The team is tasked with putting together a story from a set of sequential images. Each person is given an image but is not permitted to show it to anyone else. Together, the team has to figure out the correct sequence. The activity focuses on effective communication and problem-solving skills.

Resources:

You’ll need to purchase the picture books “Zoom” and “Re-Zoom” by Istvan Banyai.

Alternatively, you can create your own set of sequential images that tell a story. Each image should be on one sheet of paper (you can laminate them so that they last more than one session). The number of images should match the number of participants.

(If you’re in a pinch, you may be able to find Zoom and Re-Zoom as images online, but if you’re planning for a later session, please support the author by buying his books!)

Space Required: Small. Indoors or outdoors.

Group Size: 8 to 30. You can use the variations provided for smaller groups.

Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 5 minutes to brief and setup
  • 15 minutes for the activity
  • 10 minutes to review and debrie

Running the Activity

  • Explain the activity: The group has to piece together a story from the set of the images that is handed out. Each participant is given an image but is not permitted to show it to anyone else. Without looking at each other’s images, the group must put the images in sequence.
  • Hand out one image to each participant. Encourage them to study the details of the image so this will help them put together the full story.
  • Once they are ready, they can begin the activity.
  • When the group believes that they have the images put into the correct sequence, the images should be laid on the table/floor in order face down.
  • Turn the images over so that they can see if they got it right.
  • If there are any mistakes, let participants correct the order and then go through the correct sequence so that they understand the full story.

Rules

  • Participants are not allowed to show anyone else their image
  • Participants are able to describe their image or demonstrate through actions
  • Once the sequence of images has been agreed on by the group, they should be laid down on the table/floor in sequence.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Time management

Activity Guidance and Notes
This is a great activity that allows teams to display communication and problem-solving skills. The activity becomes more complex with a large number of participants as there are more pieces of the story-puzzle that they have to put into sequence. It also works well with smaller groups if you use the variations provided below.

Typically, you may notice that one or more participants will step up and assume a leadership role to help guide the group.

Variations

  • If there are more people than cards, you can pair up participants
  • For smaller groups or to increase difficulty, don’t let participants talk at all during the activity. Let them use gestures and actions to put the images in sequence.
  • For smaller groups, you can give each participant more than one image.
  • You can make the activity more competitive and measure team performance by the number of images that are in the wrong sequence.
  • You can enforce a time limit to make it more difficult.

Review

Suggested questions to ask:

  • What difficulties did your team experience?
  • What communication methods did your team use?
  • What did your team do well when you discussed the sequence of images?
  • Is there anything that frustrated you?
  • Did everyone agree with the sequence? If not, did you have to compromise?
  • How well did you work as a team? Is there anything you could have done better?
  • Did others in the team listen to your opinion? Did everyone have their input?
  • Did anyone emerge as a leader? How did having a leader help?
  • What is the one thing you can take away from the task?
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