Tag Archives: TeacherTaskmaster

Taskmaster Tasks for School

I have been using Taskmaster in school for a few years now, to great effect. The following is a list of all the tasks I’ve done or heard about. They originate from the TV show, the Taskmaster book, Class Taskmaster, my brain, my colleagues and other teachers who have been enjoying Taskmaster in schools. However, most of the credit must go to the creator of Taskmaster, Alex Horne. If you have any more to add, please tweet me the suggestions and together we can create an extensive list of tasks for children (and teachers) to enjoy all over the world.

  1. Scavenger Hunt
  2. Paint a picture – blindfolded
  3. Take an impressive photograph
  4. Make something big appear small
  5. Make something small appear big
  6. Kick a rugby ball from one end of the field to the other while holding hands. If you let go, you start again
  7. Score a goal from the furthest distance
  8. Work out how long a ball of string is
  9. Cross the playground in the least step
  10. Find all of the playing card hidden around the school
  11. Throw a tea bag into a mug from the furthest distance
  12. Get an egg as high as possible, without breaking it
  13. What is Mr Blake-Lobb’s age in minutes/seconds?
  14. As a team, build the highest tower on the field. You have ten minutes starting from now.
  15. Memorise the Highwayman poem
  16. Set a task for another group
  17. Melt the ice – fastest wins
  18. Draw a flower with your weaker hand
  19. Draw an upside down self-portrait using crayons
  20. Make the most juice from these fruits
  21. Make the best picture, using only this toilet roll.
  22. Unveil a new handshake
  23. Make something spin for the longest period of time
  24. Make the best paper aeroplane. Furthest flight wins.
  25. Score a goal with a shopping bag, each team member must kick the bag at least twice
  26. CONNECTED TASK – Make the shopping bag as heavy as possible in ten minutes. It must then hang, unassisted, for one minute
  27. Make the most impressive throw of something, into something
  28. Do the most brilliant thing on a gym mat
  29. While holding hands, kick a rugby ball from the round house to the year 6 table
  30. Move the pallet as far as possible. You have 3 minutes. Go.
  31. Eat the best picture out of a piece of bread
  32. Guess the number on Mr Blake-Lobb’s left arm (the number had also been written on the cupboard door at the back of the room for 3 days).
  33. Vote for the team you wish to receive 5 points. If you vote for your own team and don’t win, then you will lose 2 points
  34. Write the lowest unique number on a whiteboard
  35. Stand up for 100 seconds
  36. Blindfolded, stack as many objects on top of each other as possible without falling (for at least five seconds)
  37. Bring me someone who was born on the 28th May 2011 (pick the date of birth of someone in your school)
  38. Surprise Mr Allen
  39. Impress Mr Wood
  40. Make Mrs Humphreys say ‘bubbles’. You cannot use the word ‘bubbles’
  41. Make Mrs Rowe laugh out loud. You must not touch her.
  42. As a team, stage a performance of a nursery rhyme
  43. Write and perform a song about this week
  44. Bring in a book to read to a younger child
  45. Tweet a joke to Penguins class, 1st joke wins (Bonus for best joke)
  46. Wear the most unusual hat to school tomorrow
  47. Write the best 10 word story
  48. Make the best Christ-Maths Tree
  49. Make the best flag without using a flag
  50. Decorate your classroom for Christmas
  51. Line things up height order, longest line wins
  52. Make the smallest piece of art
  53. High five the oldest and youngest person, greatest age gap wins
  54. Make the best domino show
  55. Write and perform a tune with E, A and B in it
  56. Create a Remembrance Day tribute
  57. Recreate a famous book cover
  58. Find all of the playing cards hidden around the school
  59. Make the best piece of art using one toilet roll
  60. Make the longest line of things that begin with the first letter of your team/class/school name
  61. Make the biggest circle
  62. Write an epic story in 280 characters or fewer
  63. Create a cartoon character using things found in the classroom
  64. Take a picture of the oldest thing in your school
  65. Make the best snowman
  66. Recreate a famous film scene
  67. Make the biggest splash
  68. Eat the most crackers in a minute
  69. Put the most different things beginning with H, A and T in a hat
  70. Show me a picture of a cow. You cannot draw a picture. You cannot use technology
  71. Balance the biggest thing on your head
  72. Eat the most watermelon
  73. Remove your socks without using your hands – fastest wins
  74. Build a den 2m x 1m x 1m. Driest wins
  75. Create a throne
  76. Fly a flag on the tallest, free-standing flagpole
  77. Write a haiku about a task
  78. Build the tallest card tower in 2 minutes
  79. Balance the heaviest thing on the lightest thing. Greatest difference in weight wins
  80. Find the biggest leaf
  81. Line up in age/height order
  82. Make the best entrance
  83. Disguise yourself/team. Most disguised wins
  84. Hide
  85. Touch the door, fastest wins
  86. Make an A4 piece of paper into the longest piece of paper possible in 2 minutes
  87. List the most 5 letter words as you can
  88. Write a verb for every letter of the alphabet
  89. Make the longest paperchain
  90. Build a kite, longest flight wins
  91. Get a celebrity to Tweet about the school
  92. Make a cool video in reverse
  93. Film a slo-mo stunt
  94. Work out how long a ball of string is without using rulers, tape measures, meter sticks, trundle wheels, or other traditional measuring devices
  95. Identify the items in the sock/pillowcase
  96. Carry a bowl of water around the track. Fastest wins. Bonus point for the most water
  97. Throw as many balls of scrap paper over your shoulder and into the bin as you can. You have 5 throws per team member
  98. Get this egg as far from the starting point as you can in 2 minutes. You may not use your hands
  99. Find Miss Burrows. Quickest time wins. You must stay together as a team and ALL find her. You must walk in the school. Miss Burrows is not in another classroom or behind a security door
  100. Throw the ball to a teammate and they must catch it. Furthest throw wins
  101. Using the iPads, your team must take 5 photos around the school. The Taskmaster will try and identify where the photos were taken. You will score one point for each photo the Taskmaster guesses incorrectly. Photos must not be blurry
  102. How much money is in the tins? Closest wins
  103. Knock the heaviest item off the table from the furthest distance
  104. Compose a tune using the pentatonic scale with at least three instruments
  105. Using only natural things, make a picture of the Taskmaster
  106. Using a strip of toilet paper stuck between two tables, balance the heaviest item
  107. Reveal something surprising from under a blanket
  108. Using two materials, design and build a device to move as much water as possible from one bucket to another
  109. Create a device to time exactly 20 seconds using the equipment provided
  110. Estimate the amount of water up to the line in the large bottle using the equipment provided
  111. Create the best window art using the post-it notes provided
  112. RELAY TASK – Choose the order you will go in. Put on the oven gloves, eat the banana, tie your laces and then pass on the oven gloves to the next person
  113. Identify the items in the sleeping bag
  114. Put as many blue M&M as you can in the other bowl, while wearing boxing gloves. 1 point for each blue M&M, negative points for each non-blue M&M.
  115. Decorate the cake to represent what our school means to you
  116. Draw the school crest from memory
  117. Get the potato in the hole. You cannot touch the grass inside the circle with any part of your body
  118. Score a basket with the ball. You may not touch the ball with your hands
  119. Estimate the weight of the fruit (without the bowl). You may weigh anything EXCEPT the fruit in the bowl
  120. Spot the missing item. Study the tray to 20 seconds. The Taskmaster will then cover the tray and removed an item. The winner is the first to spot the missing item
  121. Get every member of another team to say a mystery word, without using the mystery word yourself
  122. Find the heaviest blue, green and red items. You have 5 minutes
  123. Sort a pack of playing cards into suits – fastest wins
  124. Transfer rice from one saucer to another using chopsticks – most rice wins
  125. Put the cover on the duvet, while holding hands
  126. Transfer dried butter beans from one saucer A to saucer B, while a member of the opposing team is transferring kidney beans from saucer B to saucer A. Use straws to suck the beans to transfer them.

If you do your own Taskmaster activities in school, why not use this video from Alex Horne to introduce it? The password is schooltaskmaster. Enjoy.

Taskmaster in school

Last November I wrote a blog post about how we’d been inspired by the TV show Taskmaster to run a week of problem solving tasks in my school to encourage team work and positive communication. Since then one thing has lead to another and I’ve been asked by many teachers on Twitter about running Taskmaster events in schools. This post is an update on the previous one offering some insight into why and when to run Taskmaster in school.

BUT WHY?

Ultimately, a major role of schools is to prepare children to be employees of the future. Key skills required by employers, and developed through Taskmaster in school, are communication, teamwork, resilience, problem solving and decision making. In an increasingly automated world, interpersonal skills are becoming more valued as explained by Belarusian American entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk who says, Emotional intelligence is about to become the single most important trade’.

The beauty of the random and varied nature of the tasks means that you can tailor the tasks to the needs of your class or your school. We needed to work on our children communicating more positively with each other, so it became all about team work and leaving no one behind when completing a task. So, if you’ve got a sports focus at the moment do more of the physical outdoor tasks. If your school development plan requires you to focus on writing, do more of the writing tasks. Yes, it’s that simple.

Another benefit is that Taskmaster is a real leveller. It doesn’t simply celebrate the same, more academically or physically able children, but rewards perseverance, lateral thinking and all the other things mentioned above.

BUT WHEN?

Wherever you like. It’s your school. But below are a few examples of when other teachers have used it in schools.

TASKMASTER AFTER SCHOOL CLUB. Darren Eales has been running a Taskmaster Club for some time now and has had a remarkable response. Where after school clubs at his school usually have an uptake of around 20 pupils, 80 children responded to the Taskmaster letter below and he’s had to limit numbers and allow different children to attend each half term.

Darren Eales Taskmaster Club letter source:
https://twitter.com/DarrenEales/status/1068772833558446080

Darren has kindly shared a load of resources in a Taskmaster Dropbox where you will find his Taskmaster after school club start up kit- Including over 30 tasks (borrowed from Taskmaster book) adapted for group tasks in schools and a simple ppt and scorecard etc.

TASKMASTER LUNCHTIME CLUB. Secondary maths teacher, Jay Sandhu runs a lunchtime club in his school and is even going to the length of having a bust of is head made as a prize for the victors. He is particularly keen on using Taskmaster as a leveller and enjoys making his top set mathematicians sweat over random tasks.

THINKING DAY. Just as everything stops for Sports Day in most Primary Schools, everything becomes Taskmaster during Thinking Day at Megan Savage‘s school. As an accredited ‘Thinking School’ they are known for encouraging thinking and how to organise thinking by using thinking maps, thinking hats and habits of the mind. This is celebrated during a whole school Thinking Day. The tasks are designed by Megan but run and scored by a group of year 6 children.

ANTI-BULLYING WEEK. In my school we were looking for ways to encourage the children to communicate more positively during Anti-Bullying Week. Being a big fan of the show I planned fours days of activities based on Taskmaster to get the children to work together and communicate well for the benefit of their whole team. I wrote about what we did in the previous Taskmaster in the Classroom blog post where you will find resources including loads of possible tasks you could attempt in school.

END OF TERM FUN. The last day of term can often involve tidying up, watching a film, playing games or a party, but for Ian Addison‘s class it was a day of Taskmaster fun. He has written about what his class got up to on his blog. I certainly believe that Taskmaster Day is considerably more productive and valuable in school than watching a film.

TRANSITION. Transition day in July or the first week back in September would also be an ideal time to introduce Taskmaster to your class. It’s a great way to see how different groups of children work together and approach these challenges in a fun and engaging way.

EVERY MONDAY. During term time, every Monday, @ClassTaskmaster set tasks for schools, classes, clubs, tutor groups, pupils, teachers, etc all over the country to be completed before the deadline using the hashtag #ClassTaskmaster. Test yourself against the rest to see if you and your team are the best. Winners announced at the end of each half term.

OVER TO YOU…

If you are planning to do Taskmaster events in your school I’d love to hear about them. Use the hashtag #SchoolTaskmaster and tweet me about it @JamesBlakeLobb. All of the teachers mentioned in this blog post are on Twitter and happy to be contacted with questions about what they did to make Taskmaster a success in their schools.

If you do your own Taskmaster activities in school, why not use this video from Alex Horne to introduce it? The password is schooltaskmaster. Enjoy.

Meeting Greg, Alex and the other Taskmaster teachers
At The One Show with Angelica, Matt and the Taskmaster teachers