This week I had the opportunity to work with our Grade 6 and 7 students. I replicated an activity that I was introduced to as part of my post-graduate leadership studies. The activity is called ‘five squares.’ It is a puzzle that requires a group of 4 or 5 people to make 5 squares from 15 different shapes cut from paper. Without talking.

At the completion of the activity, we chatted about what made the activity challenging and how those challenges were overcome. The students found it difficult to communicate without speaking but overcame this through watching what others in the group were doing and offering and asking for help through their actions. The students found the puzzle itself challenging. Many pieces looked very similar so it took a lot of trial and error to find pieces to fit together. They overcame this by staying positive, persevering and giving the ideas of others a chance. Finally, the students said that it was important to be aware of what others in the group were trying to do while focusing on your own job.

These insights from our Middle School students are a fine example of an understanding that success depends upon character and the ability to communicate. At AISL, we are committed to developing the character of our students and the belief that character traits like positivity and perseverance can be learned. This means that not only will we encourage students to be positive and persevere, we will provide them with opportunities to learn these traits.

5 Squares