Leadership-Building Activities for the Classroom
Envision helps equip, empower and inspire students to discover their passion and make an impact in a changing world. We hope to help you join us in this
mission by suggesting ideas for fun and thought-provoking leadership exercises in your classroom.
Throughout autumn of 2015, we’ll present a series of ideas for leadership activities for all ages. In this first installment we offer one exercise for the
4th-6th grade levels and another that’s suitable for middle or high school.
Stand By Your Quote
Age Group: 4th-6th grade
In preparation for this exercise, write a variety of inspiring quotes by leaders or about leadership on large pieces of construction paper. Place these
quotes on the walls around your room. You can research your own favorite quotes, or borrow from this list (download). The object is to provide quotes that
touch on a variety of aspects of leadership.
Ask your students to read the quotes and then go stand by the one that best fits their own personal views on what makes a good leader. When everyone has
selected a quote (multiple students may pick the same one), have each explain to the group why his or her chosen quote means the most to them. Obviously,
there is no wrong answer.
As the students provide their explanations, capture some of their key ideas on the board, and use these points to launch further class discussion.
The Qualities of a Leader
Age Group: Middle School or High School
This activity starts with your students contributing a list of qualities or characteristics they think are important in leadership. Elect a facilitator to
come to the front of the class and write each contributed characteristic on the board, as the other students volunteer their ideas. At the same time, you
will be writing the characteristics on small slips of paper, to go into a hat. The list can be of any length.
Example characteristics may be: empathy, strength, decision-making, trustworthiness, goals, integrity, risk-taking, vision, respect, etc.
Next, divide the class into small groups (3-4 students per group is ideal), and ask each to send a representative to draw one of the leadership qualities
out of the hat. The reps will only share the characteristic they have drawn with their own group.
Each group must then devise a scenario in which their selected leadership quality is displayed, and act out that scenario (skit) before the whole class.
The groups create their own scenarios, and determine which roles each group member will play.
As the groups take turn acting out their leadership scenarios, the rest of the class will guess which characteristic they’re portraying. The object is to
portray the characteristic clearly, so the class can easily identify the characteristic they’re demonstrating. However, it’s also beneficial if additional
leadership qualities are identified within the same acted scenario. A short discussion can take place after each group’s skit, to evaluate how the group
portrayed successful leadership qualities. Encourage as much class discussion about each characteristic/skit as time will allow.
Remember to check back regularly for more in this series of leadership activity ideas. Part 2, coming next week, will share a high school-level exercise on
Do you have an activity idea to share?