Lego Exercise - Algonquin College

Lego Exercise
Purpose: To enable participants to be involved in a conflict. Look at the
reactions they had to the situation and the strategies used to solve the conflict.
Duration: Group time: 15 minutes
Debrief time: 5 min
Material: The following materials are required:
1. You will require a bag of Lego for every 5 participants. The bag of Lego needs
to have six white blocks that are two points wide and 4 points long, and 10 red
blocks that are two points wide and 4 points long. These are called 8 point
Example of a 2 point wide and 4 point long block. This is called an 8 point block.
The rest of the Lego about 20 pieces can be any type of piece. The bag of Lego
should have about 35 – 40 pieces in total
2. You will require and envelope for every 5 participants. In the envelope will be
5 pieces of paper. On each piece of paper will be an instruction for the
participant to follow. The 5 separate instructions are as follows:
a. You and ONLY you are the tower builder.
Do not under any
circumstances let any other member of your group put pieces together.
b. You will insist that the base must be red. The base must be two blocks
wide and made of 8 point blocks.
c. You must ensure that the tower is 11 stories high. The base must be two
blocks wide and made with 8 point blocks
d. You must ensure that after the base the next 6 floors are white and one
block wide and made with eight point blocks.
e. You must ensure that the floors 8 to 11 be the same colour as the base
and be two blocks wide and be made with 8 point blocks.
1. place participants in groups of 5, if you have extra people ask for some
volunteers to be observers or make a couple of groups of four.
2. give each group a bag of Lego and ask them to open the bag and
organize the Lego anyway they wish
3. Hold up the envelopes and tell the groups that in each envelope there are
5 pieces of paper. You will be giving one piece of paper to each member
of the group. They can read what is on the paper and the must do exactly
what the piece of paper states. Tell them under no circumstances do you
want them to deviate from what is on the piece of paper. If you have a
group of 4 tell them one person will be getting two pieces of paper.
4. Inform the group that this is a non verbal exercise so they can not talk
once we start.
5. Tell the group you are about to hand out the pieces of paper. Tell them
once the get their piece of paper they can not show it to anyone. They are
to read it and if they have any questions they should come up and ask you
so other group members can not here.
6. Go to each group and open up the envelope you have with the instructions
for the group. Hand out one piece of paper to each member. If there is a
obvious leader in the group or someone that is outgoing give them the
piece of paper with the “a” instructions. If you have 4 in a group give the
one person instructions “b” and “c”.
7. Ask if anyone has any questions and remind them not to share the
instructions and that they can not talk.
8. Tell them to go and start timing 2 – 3 minutes
9. After 2 – 3 minutes stop the groups and tell them they can now talk to
each and verbally tell each other what there needs are (what there
instructions are)
10. Once a group has a tower they should show it to you and you can confirm
whether they are done or not.
11. The exercise is completed when the groups have completed the tower. If
one group is having a lot of difficulty you can give hints.
Instructions for Debriefing:
1. Have the participants who were the tower builders (“a” instructions) come
up to the front of the room.
2. Ask group members what there original thoughts were about these people
before they could communicate. You typically get responses like selfish,
mean, and destructive.
3. Ask the group if the thoughts changed once they could communicate their
needs. You typically get yes they could work with them once they could
understand them.