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Advisory goal II: To develop, foster and maintain relationships between and among advisees and the advisor Grade: Sixth Spring

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Advisory goal II: To develop, foster and maintain relationships between and among advisees and the advisor
Grade: Sixth Spring


Activity/Topic: Lava River

Closing: group share

Materials: Masking tape (1 roll) or rope, or chairs, 8½” x 11” construction or lined paper (8-12 sheets)

Grouping: Whole advisory group




Session Goal: The purpose of this session is to strengthen the skills or cooperation, communication, leadership, strategic thinking and problem-solving by getting the entire group over the lava river.

(NOTE: This is a suggested gathering connected to the activity. You may want to substitute a gathering you do routinely in your Advisory that is unconnected to the activity).


  1. Prior to the group meeting, advisor it to create two parallel lines on the floor using either masking tape or rope as materials. Chairs marking the cliffs would also suffice

  2. Have Advisors, explain to your whole advisory group that they are going to participate in a team challenge and a discussion about it afterwards

  3. Give one member of the group their floating lava rocks…

15 students = 8 squares (floating lava rocks)

20 students = 12 squares (floating lava rocks)

  1. Explain to the group, “The space between the marks on the floor is a hot boiling Lava river. The lines on the floor are cliff walls of the Lava River and the squares represent floating lava rocks you must use to get across the river of lava. The problem is that falling in would be a disaster. The goal is to get everyone across the river from one side to another on floating lava rocks. There is a problem, if you fall off the lava rock or touch the lava river at any point, you will be fried and the entire team needs to start at the beginning. Additionally, I, the advisor, represent the Lava monster in the river. If I see a floating rock in the river without a foot on it, I will eat it up and you will loose one of your rocks.” (Advisor is to take away a lava rock when a student does not have their foot in place)

  2. Students will have up to 5 minutes to strategize with the group. If students do not need to use all the prep time, you may begin the activity.

  3. You might want to suggest three guidelines for this kind of physically active experience: PLAY HARD, PLAY FAIR, PLAY SAFE. Discuss with the group how they think each of these guidelines applies to this particular team challenge.

Facilitator’s Note: During the activity, if the groups are having a lot of difficulty listening to each other or working cooperatively, stop the play, asking everyone “freeze”. Take three comments from the group, saying: “I’m open to hearing three observations from the group that helps to describe what’s not working.” Then say, “I’ll take three suggestions from the group about strategies that you think will help you achieve the goal of getting everyone across the Lava River.”


  1. What happened? How did you feel about ding this activity? What did you like or dislike?

  2. How did your group decide what strategy to use? Was everyone listened to or included in the decision? How do you know?

  3. What did you observe about how your group worked together? What did your teammates do or say that helped your team be successful? Is there anything you could have done that would have helped your group to be more effective as a team?

  4. How would you describe the role you played? How did it feel to be a leader or a follower? What would you personally do differently next time if you were involved in a similar activity?

  5. What learning can you take from this experience that you can apply to our work as a group in the advisory?

In five words or less, what is the most important thing you learned about yourself, the group or the activity?

Adopted from “The Advisory Guide” pg. 123-125

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