The Dog and Bone – teachers guide • • The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate the problems associated with large groups and the quality of communication. It is attempting to simulate the same outcome as a ‘Chinese Whisper’ activity. You will need: – – • The activity: – – – – – – – – • Let all of the students see the 8 pictures that have been drawn and the original picture to show the changes that have occurred. If the image clearly stops looking like a dog ask the participants what they thought they were drawing! The Questions: – • Choose 8 volunteers from your class and ask them to leave the room (and try and move them out of site of the activity). 8 participants will be enough to ensure that the outcome is as required without the activity becoming too long. The rest of the group can remain in the room and observe Set up each of the blank pieces of paper (you can write the numbers 1 to 8 on each paper to identify them later) Explain the purpose and nature of the activity to those students who have remained in the room Invite one person to come back into the room and tell them the rules of the activity. The name of the game is ‘The Dog and Bone’. Explain that you are going to show them a picture. They have 20 seconds to memorise the picture – during that time they must do nothing else but look at the picture and memorise it. After the 20 seconds are up you are going to remove the picture and give them a further 20 seconds to draw a copy of the picture onto the first blank sheet. Count 20 seconds then ask the first participant to finish. When they have completed their drawing (or the 20 seconds are up) you can invite them to sit down and observe the rest of the activity. Repeat this process for the remaining 7 participants (inviting them one at a time to come back into the class) but for each new participant use the drawing last completed by the previous participant. On each occasion remember to say that the name of the game is ‘The Dog and Bone’. As the activity continues the quality of the drawing will get worse and worse as the message becomes less clear After the activity: – – • A print off of the Slide 1 of this file showing the cartoon dog 8 pieces of blank paper and one pencil (or pen) Why did the quality of the picture deteriorate? Answers include skill of the artist, complexity of the image, time allowed, misinterpretation of the image (has the bone become bigger because of the suggestion made in the name that the teacher kept saying?) Diseconomies of scale – the activity mimics some of the issues relating to size of the organisation. The larger the chain of command the more an order can become altered or misinterpreted and hence a reduction in the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation.