There are several activities that can be implemented in a classroom setting that will aid personality development for students. I describe Personality Development as the process by which individuals develop a pattern of behaviour, attributes and attitudes which are unique to them. These attributes are usually distinct to that individual and makes them different from others. There are various factors to be considered when we talk about personality development because no two individuals are the same. Even though, two people may look the same or have had experiences that are similar in life, they are unique and their reactions, learning process will always be different.
Students can be helped to achieve their personality development objectives and some of these classroom activities contribute in no small way. Some of them help the student form new habits and patterns of thinking while others prod them to dig deeper until they find solutions.
1. Classroom activities to improve Listening SkillsI have listed some activities below which help students develop good listening skills as they work on their personality development process. These can be practised in the classroom environment or in any other place.
- This is an Emergency
Students are asked to leave the room and later return again. One student comes in first and the exercise facilitator then says: 'Quick, look for a phone or tell
someone else to. There has been an accident involving an old lady who has fallen on the pavement. I also saw young man dash out and snatched her handbag. He got on a bus and got away. Call the police.'
This scenario is played out again for each student that enters the room. The story changes in the process. The presentation style, the facts and the pressure will all lead to a flawed communication. Upon reviewing the original story, and the factors which lead to the break down, a basis for further development work can be constructed.
- Learn something new about your neighbour
The students in the class can be separated into pairs and each person is asked to listen to the life story of the other. After that, each student is asked to give a 1-minute presentation on that individual. This activity can be made more interesting by including such things as: a secret which nobody else knows and my proudest moment.
The students are paired with each other and try to identify 5 things that are common between them and 5 which are not.
- Talk Down
This activity's main objective is not to listen to the other person's story. One person begins to talk about just any topic and the exercise requires that you continue your story without allowing any mental picture of any part of the other person's story to be formed. This exercise is mostly exciting and noisy.
In this exercise, the students are asked to leave the room and one person is allowed in at a time to listen to someone else miming about something simple. This person is then asked to reproduce the mime to the next person again without using words. This process is repeated for each student who will then be asked to explain what they taught they were doing.
2. Activities that help to relax everyone and allow everyone know another person's name and background- My name is... and this is:
In this exercise, someone says their name attached with another name taken from the first letter of theirs, i.e. I am Philip the polite! The next person follows with something like this: My name is Charles the champion and this is Philip the polite!
- Short Life Story
Students are given an opportunity to tell a short story of their life. This may run for about 30-second.
- I am...
The students can be divided into pairs and given at least 5 minutes with which to interview
each other. At the end, each student is allowed to introduce themselves.
Students are asked to write a description of themselves in an advertisement form in a way that distinguishes them from others. This should focus on their personality and skill but not physical descriptions.
- Throw and name the ball
Each group is asked to stand in a circle and attempt to catch the ball which the trainer throws. The first person to catch the ball announces their name before throwing over to another person. The ball is allowed to go round again after each person's name has been mentioned. This time around, the thrower apart from mentioning their own name states the name of who they are throwing it to.
3. Activities that Help You Think- The Horse
In this exercise, 5 pieces of cutlery or wood are used to construct the what looks like an imaginary horse. Each group has the task of changing the direction in which the horse is moving or running by moving only 1 piece. This task creates some problems which we would discuss in class. In order to get a solution, you can move the back leg to the front.
- Write 10 things
Students would need a pen and paper for this exercise. Group members are required to put down the first 10 one-word things which come into their minds on a certain topic. The topic should be something that they find interesting to them, i.e. climate change. Most of the participants expected the lists to be the same.
4. Activities that help in problem solvingThese activities help students work together to develop problem solving activities. It has been discovered that during this activity, the ability to listen and plan are usually found wanting.
- Form a shape
This exercise requires blindfolds and the group is asked to create using a rope the biggest defined shape possible. This shape can be square, triangle or a combination of both.
- Bridge the gap
The group is asked to create a human bridge that spans a given distance. In its construction, the group is restricted to a given number of feet. This can be slowly reduced or negotiated down.
Students have been used to the usual methods of learning but these unusual forms of training exercises that are fun would help stimulate interest. It would also contribute to the improvement of their personality development process.