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Plastic wrap the team


This activity can be done as a whole media team, as only a leadership group, or only part of the team. It is recommended to go for at least 6 group members. Students will be wrapped up as a group by the plastic wrap and will have to move physically toward a common goal (like a reward or treat). This is a classic ice breaker or team builder to help the group bond. The group will have to achieve a common goal together as one unit. By the end of this lesson, students will feel closer and connected to the group as they will achieve a common goal.


  • Students will use conflict management to achieve a common goal.
  • Students will work together as a team.
  • Students will feel comfortable with one another after this ice breaker.

Common Core Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


15 minutes


Plastic wrap, like Saran Wrap (Setup moves more quickly if you have multiple rolls.)

A prize or incentive that benefits all members who participate. If food can be used as a motivator, donuts, cookies, candy can work.

Lesson step-by-step

1. Ask all participants to remove shoes — 2 minutes

This helps reduce the risk of participants accidentally stepping on each other where injury may occur.

2. Ask all participants to huddle into a tight blob of people — 2 minutes

Encourage them to get close to each other in a tight circle-like blob. The group is going to have to collectively move towards a finish line. Build this at the starting line as they are difficult to move after setting up. They will be bunched up and uncomfortably close to one another. This is normal.

3. Using 1-2 people, bind the group together with plastic wrap — 5 minutes

If you use two people opposing each other — meaning, one start wrapping clockwise, while the other wraps counterclockwise — as they wrap the group together, setup moves faster. Wrap the group until they are firmly secured by the plastic wrap.

For an example of what this looks like, see this photo (What it looks like 1). Another example of what this will look like in process can be seen here (What it looks like 2).

4. Explain the terms of this challenge — 1 minute

Show participants the finish line and the incentive if they finish TOGETHER. It is essential they must think as one unit, explain the object of this activity is for them to achieve a goal together as a team. Urge them to try their best to not step on each other’s feet. If anyone falls in the process, the group MUST stop and wait for the person to recover.

5. Actual activity — 5 minutes (could go longer if you move finish line to not in sight from starting line)

Count down and watch the fun unfold. Have a camera handy to shoot a few action shots. It is important to notice the naturally-emerging leaders. If they look at those who wrapped them or the adviser for advice, those leaders need to stay out of it. The group must work together to problem solve and move the unit toward the finish line.

6. Wrap-Up

Participants enjoy the reward or treat they earned. The students will naturally reflect on the activity and what occurred. It also helps break the ice after the group has been together for a week or so. This activity is not recommended for the first meeting of the group

7. Alternatives

Alternative #1–For more challenge, obstacles can be set up (a traffic cone, a chair, anything that would cause the group to have to maneuver around).

Alternative #2–For a different challenge, you can require the wrapped-up group to walk around a few hallways so the challenge becomes turning left and right. Adding length to the finish line can also give them more time to collaborate and problem solve as a unit.