Beavers & Cubs – Art apart (communicator skills)

Can you follow your partner’s instructions to recreate their work of art without peeking? This could be done by families in the same room or with other Beaver/Cub friends over the phone.

You will need

  • A4 paper
  • Coloured pens or pencils

You need two people for this activity. Each person needs to have two pens and four pieces of paper.

This activity counts towards the Beavers skill challenge badge and the Cubs Communicator badge.

Each pair should sit so that they cannot see each other – either back to back or via the telephone. The important part is that you cannot see what each other is doing but that you can hear each other.

  1. Each person should draw a simple picture, keeping it a secret from their partner.
  2. One person in the pair should choose one who will be the first communicator — the other will be the artist.
  3. The artist should get their other (blank) sheet of paper, and their pen
  4. The communicator should describe the picture they drew in small chunks. They can’t say what they’ve drawn; they should only describe how to draw it. For example, the communicator can’t say ‘draw a window’ but they could say ‘draw a square, and then put a cross in the middle of it’. 
  5. The artist should follow the communicator’s instructions, and draw a copy of the communicator’s picture.
  6. The artist can ask up to three questions, to check that they have understood the communicator’s instructions.
  7. Once the artist has finished following the communicator’s instructions, they should swap roles and play again.

Once the pair has completed both drawings, they should compare the original drawings to the artists’ copies. How similar are the pictures?

You can change the challenge level by having more than one colour pen and asking the artist to draw in the right colour. You can also increase or decrease the number of questions that can be asked.

Reflection

This game needed you to communicate. Did you find it easier to be the communicator or the artist? How did you communicate clearly? What information did the artist need to know? How did the artist decide which questions to ask? Was it tricky to ask questions that got you the information you needed to know? Would you have liked to have asked more questions?

This game also needed you to be a team player. What was your shared team goal? Did each role have different responsibilities to play in the game? Was it difficult to listen to the communicator’s instructions and artist’s questions? How did you avoid getting frustrated with each other? Can you think of anything that would’ve helped you work better as a team?