Global and cultural education help youth make connections: Part 2

Outline for the second session of a six-session class or club.

Youth with each ankle tied to the person next to them trying to get across a room.
30 kids, 31 legs activity at a 4-H workshop. Photo credit: Janis Brinn.

Backpack to Adventure: Youth Leaders in a Global World is a Michigan 4-H curriculum written for any caring adult or teen leader to be able to pick up and lead a group. Each activity has background information so a facilitator can read up on the topic and understand some context. This series of articles will outline and explain activities for a Global Connections 4-H club that would use the Backpack to Adventure curriculum as a foundation. Six sessions will be discussed, though you may find many opportunities for further exploration. The outline for session 1 is available in the Michigan State University Extension article, “Global and cultural education help youth make connections: Part 1.”

In the second session, you want plenty of space for participants to be able to move around. A wide-open playing field works great, but a gym or multi-purpose room would also work. If you plan for an outside activity and weather conditions get dicey, you can swap sessions 2 and 3. 

  1. Ask everyone the same opening questions as an icebreaker and a way to reinforce names. Toss a ball or other small object around the group; when a participant catches it, they state their name and their favorite game to play with friends. This can also open a discussion about how different cultures have different games that are popular.
  2. Begin the “30 Kids, 31 Legs” activity (page 31 in Backpack to Adventure). This activity is very engaging and produces lots of laughter! There are also lots of opportunities to talk about effective communication and teamwork, as well as variations based on mobility. The goal of this activity is for participants to learn to work collaboratively with others.
  3. After you have tried the activity, allow time to watch a video of Japanese schoolchildren competing in a 31-legged race. Ask participants what helped the students in the video be successful? Is there anything they would do differently to be able to be more successful in their own attempts? If time allows, give them an opportunity to try again to beat their own times!
  4. Wrap up with some reflection time for participants. Have them pair up to discuss:
    1. Why is it important to put the interests of the team ahead of your own when working as a team?
    2. Why are shared goals important to the success of a team?
    3. How can you use what you learned in this activity about collaboration when you’re working as a team member in the future?
Kids with each leg tied to the person next to them trying to compete a race.
30 kids with 31 legs activity at 4-H Exploration Days 2019

Interested in a free copy of the curriculum? Contact either Sara Keinath or Jan Brinn. Orientations are scheduled throughout the year to help anyone who is interested in learning more! You can also contact Sara for more information about a Global Connections 4-H SPIN club, including lesson plans, resources and materials lists. 

MSU Extension and the Michigan 4-H Youth Development program help to prepare youth as positive and engaged leaders and global citizens by providing educational experiences and resources for youth interested in developing knowledge and skills in these areas. Other global educational opportunities can also be found on MSU Extension’s Global and Cultural Education website. Enjoy learning about other educational cultural opportunities by visiting the Michigan 4-H International Exchange page. For more information about 4-H learning opportunities and other 4-H programs, contact your local MSU Extension office.

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