Games that involve paper are an inexpensive way to entertain a group of teens both in and out of the classroom. Most games work best when there are groups of five to 10 teens, so you may want to break a larger group into several smaller groups before attempting to play a game. This will ensure that everyone has a chance to fully participate in the activity.
Word Search Puzzle
Have teens design their own word search puzzles by hiding a list of words within a grid of letters. When they're finished, have them swap puzzles with a friend and see who is the first to complete the word search. This helps teens practice vocabulary words, especially if they list the definition of the word in the puzzle clue section and hide the actual word within the puzzle itself.
Group Poetry Session
To encourage teens to practice their creative writing skills, challenge them to create a poem as a group. Give each teen 10 small sheets of paper. Tell the teens to write one word on each sheet of paper. Place all of the papers in the middle of the group and have the teens work together to make a poem using as many of the words as they can. To make the exercise even more challenging, ask the teens to create a haiku. A haiku is a three-line poem with five syllables on the first line, seven syllables on the second line and five syllables on the third line.
Find a relatively simple picture, such as a portrait of a young woman or a still life with a bowl of fruit. Draw a grid across the picture and cut it to squares of equal sizes. Give each teen a square, a sheet of paper and a pencil. Tell them to reproduce what they see on the square as accurately as they can within the next 10 minutes. Collect all of the drawings and challenge the teens to see if they can accurately assemble the final image. This exercise can demonstrate the importance of teamwork to teenagers, since the final image depends upon the quality of everyone's individual contribution.
Kirigami is the art of folding and cutting paper to make various symmetrical designs. Paper snowflakes and paper dolls are two examples of simple kirigami projects, but you can also create flowers or decorative medallions using the same folding and cutting methods. To help teens work on building their knowledge of geometry, challenge them to recreate various shapes and patterns by folding and cutting paper.
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