Fostering Competition with Random Selection

Looking for ways to randomly select teams for the day in the classroom? This technique is a fun way to promote interaction among students, while creating a safe competitive learning environment.

Items needed

  • Bandanas (Buffs)
  • Basket, bowl or bag

Go SURVIVOR on them. Go to the local dollar store and purchase enough bandanas of the same color/pattern to form teams of equal sizes.


If you have 12 students, you would need four red, four blue, and four green bandanas. Color doesn’t really matter, so long as each group is defined by a different color/pattern.


  1. Fold and wrap each bandana in wrapping paper and place them in the basket, bowl or bag.
  2. As the students enter the classroom, have each student select a bandana from the basket, bowl or bag and be seated.
  3. Once all the students are in attendance, instruct them to open their packages and reveal their team color.
  4. Instruct students to arrange themselves in the appropriate color matching teams.

As team learning opportunities arise, have the students work in their respective groups to complete the task. The team that finishes the quickest or has the most correct answers for the task receives a predetermined number of points. At the end of the class, the team with the most points wins a prize. The prize can be anything from candy to just about any freebee you can lay your hands on.

On the next day of class, repeat the process so you will essentially have different team each day.

From the author

I realize this involves a little prep work for each class, but no one ever said teaching a skill that saves lives was easy! Be safe

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