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All Leaders UNITE Activities (Sorted by Type)

Here is a list of all Leaders UNITE activities, hyperlinked and sorted by type of activity. The activities also have their designated age group next to it (ES= elementary school, MS= middle school, HS= high school). Some of the activities fit under more than one of these groups, so I have mentioned them in both. This list will continue to be updated as more activities are added.

Leadership: (general activities about leadership or that involve thinking deeper about leadership)

  1. Leadership at Schools (ES, MS, HS)
  2. What Would a Leader Do? (ES, MS, HS)
  3. Drawing a Leader (ES, MS)
  4. Leadership Utopia (MS, HS)
  5. First Day Questionnaire (MS, HS)
  6. A Leader Is… (Creativity Project) (ES, MS, HS)
  7. Leadership Around School (ES, MS)
  8. Lesson Plan (MS, HS)
  9. Creating a Poem (MS, HS)
  10. Interviewing an Icon (MS, HS)
  11. Leadership in Movies (ES, MS, HS)
  12. Leadership Scenarios (MS, HS)
  13. List and Pictures About Leaders (ES)

Teamwork: (activities where students have to work in teams to accomplish a goal)

  1. Sports Combo (ES, MS, HS)
  2. Hand Signs (MS, HS)
  3. Marketing a New (Old) Product (MS, HS)
  4. The Newest App (ES, MS, HS)
  5. The Newest Videogame (ES, MS, HS)
  6. Find Someone Who (ES, MS, HS)
  7. Leadership at Schools (ES, MS, HS)
  8. It’s Dance Time! (ES, MS)
  9. Christmas Gifts (ES, MS)
  10. The Tallest Tower (ES, MS, HS)
  11. Leadership Around School (MS, HS)
  12. Lesson Plan (MS, HS)
  13. A New End to a Movie (MS, HS)
  14. Pre-Concert Decision Making (MS, HS)
  15. Creating Your Own Language (ES, MS, HS)
  16. Drawing a Forest (ES)
  17. Story Pieces (ES, MS)
  18. Mural (MS, HS)
  19. Composing a Song (MS, HS)
  20. Word Scramble Story (MS, HS)
  21. Commercial (MS, HS)
  22. Halloween Costume (ES)
  23. Superheroes (ES, MS)
  24. Party Planning (MS, HS)
  25. Leadership Lessons from TV (team building version) (ES, MS, HS)

Assigned leader: (team activities where one person has to step up as the assigned leader for the activity)

  1. Hand Signs (MS, HS)
  2. Find Someone Who… Can Understand Hand Signs (MS, HS)
  3. Show and Learn (ES, MS, HS)
  4. Bossy Says “Go Fish” (MS, HS)
  5. Leadership Scenarios (MS, HS)
  6. A Spin on Charades (ES, MS, HS)

Public speaking: (activities where students get to practice their public speaking)

  1. Marketing a New (Old) Product (MS, HS)
  2. The Newest App (ES, MS, HS)
  3. The Newest Videogame (ES, MS, HS)
  4. Christmas Gifts (ES, MS)
  5. A Leader Is… (Creativity Project) (ES, MS, HS)
  6. Creating a Poem (MS, HS)
  7. Your Favorite Animal (ES, MS, HS)
  8. Toy Talk (ES)
  9. Commercial (MS, HS)
  10. Leadership Lessons from TV (public speaking version) (ES, MS, HS)

You are Special: (activities relating to our positivity movement, YAS)

  1. YAS (You are Special) Leadership! (ES, MS, HS)
  2. Time for Thanks(giving) (ES)
  3. YAS it’s Valentine’s Day (ES, MS, HS)

SoccerDance- the Newest Sports Combo!

Yesterday in Leaders UNITE, the students did an activity called Sports Combo, where they worked on teamwork and thinking outside the box. In this activity, the students had to combine their two favorite sports together to create one new sport. For this new sport, they had to come up with the rules, name of the game, number of players on each team, how to win, and more things that are important in a sport. Since they were combining two sports together, it was important for the students to incorporate aspects of both sports into their new creation.

First, we took a vote to determine which two sports were the favorite amongst all of the students. The winners were soccer and dance! Then, the students had to work together to come up with the rules of their new sport. Although at first, it seemed difficult to combine both of these very different sports, the students did an awesome job thinking outside the box to combine dance and soccer. Here’s what they came up with:

The students created a game called SoccerDance. In this game, players kick a soccer ball, which has pictures of dancers and ballerinas on it. However, you can’t just kick the ball like a normal soccer ball: you have to be dancing and/or twirling while kicking the ball! In this game, players can score 1-6 points by kicking the ball into the goal while dancing. The points for a goal increase depending on the type and complexity of the dance move that the person uses while kicking the ball into the goal. This game takes place inside an open classroom, and lasts a total of 40 minutes. Each team has 5 players

I was very impressed to see students bounce ideas off of one another and take initiative to state their ideas. Once one person came up with the first idea, it seemed to spark everyone else to think about combining the two sports. I was also impressed to see students thinking about their own experiences with these sports in order to better combine them together. For example, when thinking about how many minutes the game should be, students initially thought of 30 minutes. However, some of the students who dance mentioned that their dance classes are sometimes 45 minutes, so they decided to make a compromise and make SoccerDance 40 minutes long. It was great to see that students could draw on their own experiences while also thinking outside of the box. This was a pretty complex activity, and I was proud to see the students step up to tackle this. By the end of the activity, all of the students seemed very excited to try out SoccerDance!

New Year and New Goals

This week in Leaders UNITE at the International Preschool of Raleigh the students conducted a discussion and an activity about leadership. First, we had a discussion about what it means to be a leader. We always try to have this discussion every few weeks at the beginning of our sessions to see how students’ perception of leadership has changed throughout their time in Leaders UNITE. And especially with this younger age group who had not heard much about leadership before this club, it is also very interesting to see what they have learned about what it means to be a leader. The students all gave very sophisticated responses highlighting not just the importance of “leading” but also the importance of being a team player and helping others. Students said that a leader helps their friends and peers when they are going through a difficult time, stands up for others if someone is being mean to them, checks on others if they seem lonely or upset, helps others if they are struggling with an assignment, listens to others, respects their teachers, and volunteers to assist the teacher at school. I was very impressed by the students’ understanding of the importance of listening and helping others, and their responses had definitely become even more complex than they were a few weeks ago.

Following this, the students and I talked about the importance of setting goals as a leader, and working towards specific goals as a leader and within a team. To show students how this works, we all made and decorated cards of New Years resolutions. Each student thought of one goal/resolution that they wanted to accomplish for the upcoming year, and we wrote them down on a piece of paper for them to keep. I told the students to hold on to their individual resolutions throughout the year and continue to use them to remain motivated and remind them of their goals.

Acting, teamwork, and sportsmanship in Leaders UNITE

Yesterday in Leaders UNITE at the International Preschool of Raleigh, students played a game where they had the opportunity to work on communication, teamwork, and adapting to different leaders/situations. We played a game similar to charades- where I acted out different words and students had to guess which word I was acting out. I split the students into two teams randomly, giving them the opportunity to work with new students that they might not see during their class time. I then made one person from each team the “leader”— where this person’s job was raise their hand on behalf of the group and say the answer for the team. Although one person was raising their hand on behalf of the team, the team was supposed to communicate together and help their team leaders arrive at the correct answer. Another interesting thing about the game was that I changed the team “leaders” multiple times throughout the games- so students had the opportunity to quickly adapt to different leading styles and learned how to communicate in different ways. I was pleased to see that students’ teams did significantly better when the whole team was helping the team leader arrive at the correct answer, and that students got better and better at working together as the game progressed. We also spoke in depth about sportsmanship, teaching the students that we should be happy for the other team when they get points, instead of becoming upset. We also spoke about perseverance, where students learned that even if their team is losing, it is important to keep trying and stay motivated as a team. The students had lots of fun with the game- which actually ended in a tie by the end of the session! Finally, students had a brief discussion about leadership and teamwork, and how these both manifested themselves in this game. Way to go IPR!

Getting to know teammates through holiday games

In Leaders UNITE at the International Preschool of Raleigh before Christmas time, students participated in an activity about teamwork and leadership. We first reviewed some of the important characteristics of a leader, which students felt very comfortable addressing after discussing this topic a few weeks ago. Then, we took this a step further and talked about how a leader should treat his/her team members. Students did a great job of explaining how someone could be a leader in a team situation, such as helping their teammates if they have problems, and being supportive towards them. We then took this a step further, discussing how important it is for a leader to get to know his/her team and appreciate their values and uniqueness- not just while they are working on something together, but all of the time.
To delve into this idea in a more hands-on manner, we played a game about students’ favorite things, where students got to learn more about their other teammates in a fun way. This game had to do with Christmas, where students first had to whispered to me what they wanted for Christmas. I then wrote down what everyone wanted for Christmas on individual pieces of paper and shuffled the cards in the middle. One by one, students picked up a random piece of paper and had to guess which person wanted which Christmas gift. If they could not guess the correct person after three turns, then we would tell them who wrote that particular Christmas gift. After each person’s Christmas gift was revealed, I asked the student to say why he/she wanted that particular gift for Christmas. I then asked the other students what they learned about this student by learning about what they wanted for Christmas.
This worked out great, and students got to learn more about their teammates through this activity. For example, one student wanted a suitcase for Christmas. After a bit of discussion, some of her classmates learned that this student likes to travel, has family she would like to visit in India, and has always wanted to visit this country. Students also learned about some things they had in common with their teammates, which was another important topic we highlighted in our discussion: even though you might seem very different from someone else in your team, you can always work to find similarities or similar interests between yourself and others.
Finally, I asked students what they would buy from other people in their class for Christmas if they could actually buy them a gift. I was so happy to see that the student who wrote “makeup” wanted to buy makeup for her friends who mentioned, “Woah cool- I want makeup too!” during our game. It was really great to see students learning new information about their friends and taking the time to truly value their teammates interests, experiences, and similarities through this activity.

Working together, acting, and dancing at North Regional Library

Two weeks ago at North Regional Library, the students participated in two Leaders UNITE activities. In the first half of our session, the students conducted the A New End to a Movie activity, where they had to think about a movie ending that was unfair or unjust, and act our a new way to end the movie. The students selected a horror movie, and chose to make the antagonist talk out his problems with the protagonist, as opposed to becoming bitter and turning against the family. The students did a wonderful job of selecting a movie together and acting it out. The students bounced ideas off of one another well.

The second activity that students conducted was It’s Dance Time!, where they had to come up with a dance/choreography to 1 minute and 30 seconds of a famous song. I let the students select the song. Since a few of the students were all skilled dancers, they had to work together to think about how they could combine their interests in dancing and their different dance moves into one dance. There was another student who was not a dancer, but he still had some great opinions about the type of dancing that he wanted to include in the dance, and I was happy that the students also incorporated that type of dancing into their choreography. Their dance was very sharp, and I was happy to see all of the students work together. All of these students are natural performers, and seemed to derive more confidence and energy from one another’s presence.

Public Speaking and Toy Talk at the International Preschool of Raleigh

Today in Leaders UNITE at the International Preschool of Raleigh, the students did an activity called Toy Talk, where they got the opportunity to practice their public speaking. This was the first time we introduced the concept of public speaking directly to these students, relating it to situations in class, such as when a teacher is talking in front of the whole class. We first brainstormed some qualities that a person should have when speaking in front of others, and students mentioned quite a few: not fidgeting too much, looking at everyone in the audience, and talking loud enough for everyone to hear or using a microphone if the room is very big.

Then, we spoke about qualities an audience member should have while listening to someone speak, and students mentioned being respectful, listening to the person speaking, making eye contact, and staying quiet while the other person is talking.

After this, students took turn standing in front of the whole class and speaking about their favorite toy (the name of the toy, what it looks like, and why they student likes this particular today). After each student gave his/her presentation, we discussed together as a class some of the good qualities that this person used in his/her presentation, specifically based on what we discussed earlier about public speaking (ex. The student didn’t fidget too much, the student used clear words to articulate his/her thoughts, the student did a good job explaining the toy to the class, etc.), The students did a great job of listening to one another, complimenting one another on their public speaking, and speaking in front of their friends!

We also had a new student today, who came from our youngest classroom at the school. She did an amazing job with this group, did a great job with her public speaking, and was so well poised. We are so happy to have a new very talented leader in our program, and that more students are finding value in participating in Leaders UNITE!

Halloween Discussion and Positivity at the International Preschool of Raleigh

For Leaders UNITE yesterday at the International Preschool of Raleigh, we took advantage of the fact that it was Halloween. Students did a Halloween-related activity that worked on their public speaking, inquisition, discussion, and encouragement skills. To practice their public speaking, students took turns presenting their Halloween costumes as well as why/how they selected that particular costume. It was very interesting to learn more about students through their costumes, and their reasons for selecting a particular costume.

Then to practice their inquisition and discussion skills, students asked their classmates questions about their costume, which ranged from question about where the person stores the Halloween costume and whether their sibling are wearing similar costume to questions about personal stories behind the students’ choice of costume. I was very impressed with the caliber of students’ questions, as well as the personal touches their questions added.

To encourage positivity and kindness among students, everyone then went around the room and said something they like about their friends’ costumes. The students had much to share, and complimented various aspects of their classmates’ costumes, such as the sparkles, capes, skirt, dress, hair bow, and more.

To end our session, students drew pictures of themselves in their costumes, with a particular emphasis on features that their classmates liked. For example, students liked one person’s costume because it was sparkly, so in her picture of her costume, she made sure to include tons of sparkles. Another student’s costume was admired for its beautiful wings, so that student made sure to spend time drawing the wings in her drawing. It was wonderful to see how students remembered what their classmates liked about their costumes- a little compliment could go a long way!

The students did an amazing job with their discussion today, with everyone waiting patiently for their turn, raising their hand, listening to their friends, and waiting patiently until it was their turn to share. It was amazing to see how focused everyone was on learning about one another’s costumes and their enthusiasm for asking questions and complimenting their friends.

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Leadership in movies and TV

This week in Leaders UNITE at the International Preschool of Raleigh, students had a discussion about leadership in the media through their Leadership in Movies activity. Students first talked about how leadership is manifested in students’ favorite tv shows and movies, thinking of examples where someone acts as a leader in these examples. Some of the examples students came up with were Peppa taking initiative to take care of her younger brother George, Ironman working to bring all of the Avengers back and together, Spiderman training and guiding Miles Morales, Blippi staying up all night to watch over and take care of everyone, princesses helping their family and leading their country, and a cowboy from PJ Masks using his own talents to help a friend.

Based on this discussion, students then made a list of important qualities that a leader should have, which included helping people, helping people if they are hurt, training/leading others, using their talents to help other people, taking care of their family and others, and standing up for their friends. Finally, students drew pictures of scenes in their favorite movies and TV shows where people used leadership.

It was great to see students understanding that leaders can do more than just “lead,”— understanding that leadership can manifest itself in many different ways such as helping others do things that they cannot do on their own, and taking care of others. It was also great to see students taking more from their favorite TV shows and movies, understanding how even entertaining movies can use examples of leadership. It is great to see these students becoming more conscious about how leadership is part of people’s daily lives, and that there are examples of leadership everywhere you look.

Here are some pictures from this activity. The first one is a student’s drawing of Peppa Pig acting as a leader by taking care of her younger brother George!

Synthesizing ideas to create a videogame

Last week at the International Preschool of Raleigh, students did a new activity called The Newest Videogame, which is based off of one of our most used activities, The Newest App. At this session, students were first asked to list topics that they loved that were featured in their favorite videogames. They mentioned many different things, such as space/the planets, princesses, spider webs (like from Spiderman), rocketships, and lunch/food. While students knew the activity was going to be about a videogame, they did not tell them what they would be doing with the list of activities that they created. After this, students were told they would have to work together to create a new videogame, specifically using the words they mentioned before.

Together, students worked to create a videogame that incorporated all of the features they mentioned before, and they did a wonderful job. Students seemed to really begin grasping the concept of synthesizing ideas and building off of someone else’s idea. While one student suggested that the game be to build bricks, the next student added onto that with ease, noting that the game should use spiderwebs to knock down some of the bricks. Students continued to build on this idea, creating a game where you build bricks and stack food ontop of the bricks, while spiderwebs can shoot out and knock down bricks, and planets and princesses can work together to knock down spiderwebs. It was great to see students really understanding and utilizing the concept of combining different ideas/topics into one videogame.

This is also a point where I began to see huge growth in the students. Since working through the Story Pieces activity a few weeks ago, students have greatly improved their ability to synthesize ideas together, and have done a wonderful job of basing their ideas off of a concept that someone else mentioned. It was so wonderful to see this growth after one of our activities, and it is great to see these skills shine through in these students, and at such a young age!