The start of every Destination Imagination season is a chance to help students with goal setting and developing their own individual and team core values. Here is an activity I did with our Middle Level team last year to help anchor the season in the team’s chosen core values.
1. Give each student a stack of notecards (50-75 should be enough) and pen/pencil and a list of core values.
2. Each team member works individually to as many core values that are really important to them. Only one value per card. Team members can write as many as they want. Try not to overthink it. If a team member doesn’t know what a word means, skip it. As the Team Manager, try to keep team members from talking to each other and set a quick pace to this exercise. 7-8 minutes should be enough.
3. Once students have their words listed, working individually, have students group like values into groups. Students have 3-5 groupings. This is firm. 5-6 minutes should be enough.
4. From the 3-5 groups, ask students to select one core value from the grouping that represents the pile. 2-3 minutes.
5. Now it’s time to have the team work together! Each team member shares their 3-5 core value cards with the team. Once all members have shared, put the cards in the middle of the table and repeat the process. As a team, create 3-5 groups.
Example (each color represents a different team member’s core values):
6. Once 3-5 groupings have been created as a team, the team selects tha core value word that best represents the grouping.
7. One more sort and ta da: 3-5 core values for the team!
Last year, our team selected ambition, creativity, growth and love. We posted these values in the team’s workspace, started each meeting with a reminder of team values, evaluated solutions and asked ourselves if our solutions represented our team core values. It was a great way to focus our team throughout the year. This activity also helped the team better fill out the Creative Process page of the Tournament Data Form. I was able to see a much better reflection from them after spending the year focusing on their core team values. I can’t wait to do this activity again with the team and see how they have grown!
Activity adapted from: https://www.cmu.edu/career/documents/my-career-path-activities/values-exercise.pdf
About the Author: Alyssa St. Hilaire has been involved with Destination Imagination since 2000 and is part of the Washington State Affiliate. Alyssa has participated as a team member, Appraiser, Affiliate tournament organizer and is currently a Team Manager for her daughter’s DI team. Besides volunteering for Destination Imagination, Alyssa stays busy raising two creative and curious daughters and is the Director of Federal Programs for the Kennewick School District.