Unit 14: Publicity and communication skills
Architect and builder activity guide
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Unit 14: Publicity and Communication Skills
Architect and builder activity guide
Estimated duration: 20 minutes
To get students thinking about common language used in communication
Outcome By the end of this class, students will be able to: • Enhance the way they communicate to achieve a task • Develop a heightened awareness about the language they use to communicate or instruct • Develop an understanding that communication is not one‐way but also relies on a range of responses
Resources • • • •
Architect blue print (print 1 copy for each group) – provided below Builder’s kit (print and cut out pieces, preferably on thick paper or cardboard ‐ 1 for each group) – provided below Envelopes to hold builders’ kits Something rigid for the builders to lean on when constructing the house on their lap (e.g. A4 folders)
Activity Description In this activity students must communicate to each other how to build a house out of paper shapes, without being able to see what each other is doing. Divide participants into groups of three or four. Explain that: One person sitting down will be the architect. This person has a vision and must now communicate that vision to the builder, who is sitting behind them. The people standing up are also architects, however they cannot speak or make facial expressions; they can only observe. Instruct two participants from each group to sit in chairs that are positioned back to back. Instruct other participants in the group to stand on either side of the participants. Gives the architect a ‘top secret’ envelope, instructing the architect not to open it yet. Give the builder the envelope with the builder’s kit, again telling them not to open it yet.
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Explain that: Each architect has a blue print and must instruct the builder verbally to use resources provided in the ‘builder’s kit’ to replicate the blue print plan. The builder may speak, but the remaining observer architects must only observe. They can, however, swap with the seated architect and carry out instructions. Allow the groups to start the task, permitting the architect to look at the blue print and begin to explain it to the builder and allowing the builder to open the ‘builder’s kit’ which contains numerous shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles etc.). Allow five minutes, then halt the activity and elicit feedback about the progress they are making. Most likely the builder is struggling to reproduce the blue print plan and the architect doesn’t even know it. Meanwhile the standby architects are being inactive observing the misunderstood communication. Suggest that this might have occurred because the groups did not identify a common language. Suggest that first of all groups need to have a clearly defined mission, they then need to establish their goals and then find a common language to communicate instructions with one another. Offer the following tips: The standby architects should be proactive and respond to what they see by swapping with the seated architect and expanding on the communication to achieve small parts of the task. The builder should ask questions and let the architect know if they don’t understand. Start the task again, acknowledging the improvements that groups make. After five minutes conclude the activity (it is unlikely they will complete the task) and debrief the groups with the following questions: How did you change the way you communicated? How did this help you achieve different results?
Student Roles and Responsibilities Participate in agreed tasks Contribute to class discussions Complete activities and worksheets Work cooperatively with others Seek teacher assistance and support when needed
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Level of Teacher Support Facilitate discussion Organise materials and equipment Provide encouragement Introduce tasks and activities Provide assistance when requested
Assessment To use these learning activities as assessment tasks, collect evidence such as: Teacher checklist and observation
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Architects Blue Print Instructions for use: Describe the following design to the builder so that they can arrange their building pieces to be exactly like the house below:
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Builder’s Kit Instructions: Before the activity use cardboard or thick paper to cut out the shapes below.
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