See, Run, Do - A Communication Focused Team Building Activity for Back to School

A few years ago, during one of our professional development sessions, we did an activity called "See, Run, Do". It was an excellent team-building activity to reinforce the idea of how important it is to work together and  effectively communicate. I remember thinking that it would be perfect as a back to school activity. As I was cleaning out some old files in preparation for a new year, I came across my notes from this activity. I decided this was the year to try "See, Run, Do" in my classroom. 

I put students in groups of 3 or 4. Each student received an index card (or printable card included below) that said see, run, or do. I asked the group to consider who might be strong in drawing so I could give that person the do card. For those students that had 4 in their group, two students received a "do" card. Each group received one piece of white construction paper and a set (one of each color) of crayons, markers, or colored pencils (their choice).

I then explained the activity to students:
"Today, we are going to need to work as a team. I have placed a picture in the hallway. In a moment, the person in each group with the "see" card is going to be allowed to look at that picture. They will need to think about what they see in that picture carefully because they will be the only person who will see it."
Cue the gasps!

I went on to tell students that the "run" person will have to meet the "see" person at a designated area. The "run" person is not allowed to be anywhere in the view of the picture. When the "run" person meets the "see" person, it will be their job to tell them what they see. The "run" person will then take that information back to the "do" person, who will be waiting in the classroom with the supplies, ready to draw what the runner tells them. The "runner" will be allowed to go back and forth between the "see" person and the "do" person as many times as they can in a 10 minute period. I did not let my students actually run, so I was explicit in telling them that even though they are called the "run" person, they would be walking briskly instead. 

I did give one piece of advice: I told the "see" students that they should think about delivering a small piece of information each time so that it's easy for the "run" student to remember.

After 10-15 minutes, all students came back to their groups and the "see" students shared the picture with their group. They compared their drawings to the pictures that were drawn by the "do" students. Here's what they came up with: 

Some students were disappointed that their drawings weren't closer to the actual picture. I made my way around to each group and asked if each could identify at least five details that they had correct and each one was able to. We had a discussion about why communication and teamwork were important to the success of this activity.I told them that they needed to be proud of their communication and that five was a great accomplishment and the direct result of awesome teamwork! 

In all honesty, my 27 students did a really fantastic job! I heard zero arguments and saw a display of teamwork that was truly impressive for a group of children who had only been together for 3 days. I made it a point to compliment them on their communication and teamwork. I think we've set a really great tone for the school year! 

I found the cartoon picture here: Cartoon Classroom

If you'd like to grab the printable see, run, do cards, click on the image below. Print on colored paper to make them colorful.



  1. That's such a great activity and a fun way to work on communication and teamwork. I may have to try this at some point (and would be VERY interested to try it with teachers). Thanks for sharing!!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

    1. Oh, it's quite interesting with adults! :-) Let me know how it goes if you try it!

  2. What an awesome idea!! I can't wait to try this!!

    A Tall Drink of Water

  3. Replies
    1. It was a blast! I will definitely be using it again!

  4. Great article!! These are very interesting team building events for the children. I think children enjoyed these events most and this is the best way of conveying a great message. Please add some more ideas of team building events for youngsters too.

  5. I love this idea and will try it this year.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Love this idea! Where did you get the picture!

    1. I just googled "classroom cartoon" and it was one of the first images that came up! :-)


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