House of Cards seems like a fairly straightforward building challenge – but is it?
Deck of playing cards
Flat, stable surface, such as a large table or a clear area of floor with a hard surface
Instructions to the team:
Using only this deck of cards, build the largest house of cards you can. You will have 4 minutes to build. At the end of the 4 minutes, we will count how many cards were used in your house.
Experienced teams are probably familiar with building challenges – being asked to build towers using odd combinations of toothpicks, pipe cleaners, sticky notes, marshmallows, and the like. Does your team immediately interpret “largest” to mean “tallest” and start the careful work of building a traditional 3-dimensional tower of cards? Or does your team realize that they can lay the cards down flat and form the shape of a house? (Be prepared simply to repeat the instructions if they ask for clarification). If they do come up with this interpretation, encourage them to continue listening carefully and thinking creatively. Are any of the Animal Allies challenges subject to a different or novel interpretation? If your team does not reach this interpretation on their own, you can ask leading questions, such as “What does ‘largest’ mean?”