Webelos Communicator Activity Badge
Everyone is a communicator. Every time we tell or show what we know, how we feel and what we think we are being a communicator. We also communicate when we smile, frown or even yawn. Drawing pictures or symbols and writing words and codes are also ways that we communicate. There is much in our world today that has to do with communicating better.
§ -Play some games that demonstrate how important good communication is everyday.
§ -Learn to say several phrases in sign language.
§ -Have the boys write their own newspaper.
§ -Have fun with blindfolds and giving directions.
§ -Find a book in Braille and share with the boys.
§ -Learn a new code and have the boys send an important message to each other, to another den or home. Have the boys teach someone how to decode their message.
§ -Invite a ham radio operator to come and talk about what he does.
§ -Invite someone who makes commercials or advertisements come and discuss why communicating is important in his work.
Materials: A one minute timer, drawing marker, a pad of newsprint on an easel (easel pad), box with object cards. You could also use chalk and a chalkboard or a white board and markers.
Divide into two teams. One member of a team chooses an object card and tries to draw it on the board. The drawing must be in picture form with no written words as part of the drawing. His team tries to guess what he is drawing within one minute. If the team guesses the object, they receive 3 points. If the team is unsuccessful, the drawing is passed to the other team to guess within 30 seconds. An accurate guess is worth 2 points. If neither team is successful by themselves, then the guessing is opened up to both teams for another 30 seconds, and then an accurate guess is only worth 1 point. Play continues when the second team chooses an object card and draws it. The winner is the team with the most points after a designated period of time. Charades are not allowed for hints.
Possible object cards: US flag, Cub Scout, neckerchief slide, day camp, parents, campfire, arrow of light, pinewood derby, skit, uniform, Webelos, Raingutter Regatta
A fun way to start this activity is to have the Webelos Scouts stand in a circle. The leader makes an action, and the players exaggerate their version. Here are some suggestions to start with...then make up your own and have fun!
§ -Say with your hand, “Stop.”
§ -Say with your head, “Stop.”
§ -Say with your shoulder, “I bumped the door.”
§ -Say with your foot, “I’m waiting.”
§ -Say with your ear, “I hear something.”
§ -Say with your waist, “I’m dancing.”
§ -Say with your jaw, “I’m surprised!”
§ -Say with your tongue, “Yum, this tastes good.”
§ -Say with your finger, “Come here!”
§ -Say with your fingers, “This is hot!”
§ -Say with your nose, “I smell fresh pie.”
To play this game, give your den members a piece of paper and a pencil. Ask them to think about feelings they can show by body language only - without making a sound. Have them make a list of at least five feelings they can show. Den members take turns showing one of their feelings. The others try to guess what the feelings are. The den leader or den chief can be referee and decide whether the body language really shows the feeling. If a den member guesses correctly, he gets one point. If nobody guesses correctly, the boy who performed the body language gets one point. The final winner is the boy with the most points.
“HEAR, HEAR!” GAME
This is a game identifying sounds. The Webelos den leader or den chief produces sounds from behind a screen while the Webelos Scouts listen. As each sound is produced, tell the boys to write down what sounds they heard. Have the boys write their guesses as specific as possible. Examples of sounds are:
Sandpaper rubbed on wood
Deck of cards being shuffled
Manual egg beater in water
Golf ball bouncing on wood floor
Cutting into an apple
Removing groceries from plastic bag
Opening an envelope
Opening a can of soda
Vary the objects, sounds, and duration of the sound. Boys may also be blindfolded instead.
RAIL FENCE CODE
Suppose you want to send the message LOUIS LIKES BEAN SOUP. In the rail fence code, you encode by dropping every other letter down:
L U S I E B A S U
O I L K S E N O P
Then, take the bottom line of letters and put them next to the top line of letters. You’ll come up with the coded messaged LUSIEBASUOILKSENOP. When your friend wants to decode the message, he just counts the number of letters in the message, divides it by two, and places the last half below and between the first half.
In the Braille alphabet, a pattern of raised dots represents each letter of the alphabet. A person can “read” through his fingertips by feeling the raised letters. Here is an alphabet written in Braille. The colored dots represent the raised dots. If you poke a pinpoint through the back of each of the colored dots, you can “raise” the letters. Try feeling the pattern with your fingers. Now try to write your own coded message in the Braille alphabet.
Have the boys glue seeds or lentil beans onto index cards. Write the letter on the back for reference. Use the cards to make messages. Try it blindfolded.
Print wheels on cardstock or paste them on cardboard and cut out. Center the small wheel on top of the large wheel.
Make a small hole in the center of both wheels and secure with a brass fastener. Use to encode and decode messages. The receiver must have the same kind of wheel as the sender.
To encode, the sender must keep his wheel in the same position for the entire message. He must tell the receiver how to position his wheel by writing something like A->Z. The first letter is the outer wheel. The second letter is where you position the inner wheel. For example, line up A (outside) with Z (inside) and secure in place with a paper clip.
When composing a message, find the letters on the inner wheel and write down the letter from the outer wheel. When decoding, find the letters in the message on the outer wheel. The letter on the inner wheel is the one you write down to translate the message.
The manual Alphabet or Signing is a means of communication used by people who have a hearing impairment. Make up a code and see if the Webelos Scouts can determine what it is you’re saying.
Communication is one of the most important skills that the Webelos Scout will use during his life. He will communicate every day with other human beings, and possibly with animals. We often consider communication as the expression of our thoughts or feelings through speech, gesture, print, and electronic devices. Communication, however, really is comprised of both the transmission of the message, and decoding by the receiver. In other words, communication does not exist unless the message is both sent and received. When the intended recipient of the communication understands the message, then the communication is effective. Learning to communicate effectively will help us all now and in the future.
· To learn about various forms of communication problems that other people may have.
· To become aware of different way that people can communicate.
· Visit a local newspaper office, radio station, or cable TV station.
· Have a visually impaired, hearing impaired, or speech impaired person or a teacher for those with these impairments explain their compensatory forms of communication.
· At the local library, find books about secret codes and various forms of communications
· Visit the base of a ham radio operator.
· Have a parent who uses a computer in his/her job explain its function.
· Visit a travel agent to see how a computer is used to book a flight. This could also be used as part of the Traveler Activity Badge, as you determine cost per mile of various modes of travel.
· Learn the Cub Scout Promise or Boy Scout Oath in sign language.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act,
but a habit.
Use the Morse code table found in the Webelos Scout Handbook, Communicator Section to encode a short message. Each boy should keep his message short, one sentence of 5 to 8 words, and not let the other boys see it. After each boy has created his own message, let the other den members try to figure out the message.
Have the boys use their knowledge of communications to set up a den newsletter with a calendar of upcoming events, a listing of supplies needed at future den meetings, a reporting of den activities, and acknowledgments of people who have helped with recent den programming.
Have the Webelos learn the Scout Motto in Sign Language.
Blue and Gold, U.S. Flag, Cub Scout, Neckerchief Slide, Award, Cub master, Table Decorations, Parents, Den, Summer Activity Award, Bobcat, Campfire, Pack Flag, Council Patch, Bear, Pinewood Derby, Wolf, Tiger, Arrow of Light, Skit, Applause, Webelos Activity Badge, Uniform, Webelos.
This amusing way for expressing actions and moods will cause boys and parents more fun than you can imagine. A fun way to start is to have boys in a circle. The leader makes an action and players exaggerate their version. Then make up your own mime and have fun!
1. Say with your hand, “Stop”
2. Say with your head, “Stop”
3. Say with your shoulder, “I bumped the door”
4. Say with your foot, “I’m waiting”
5. Say with your ear, “ I hear something”
6. Say with your waist, “I’m dancing”
7. Say with your jaw, “I’m surprised!”
8. Say with your tongue, “Yum, this taste good”
9. Say with your finger, “Come here”
10. Say with your fingers,” This is hot!”
11. Say with your nose, “I smell fresh pie”
12. Make up your own gestures.
Here are some skits your Webelos could do at the pack meeting that make a point about communications. Remember, in September your new Scouts probably do not have the hang of Pack Meetings yet, so a good skit by the Webelos could help your year get off on the right foot. CD
Cast: Ship’s captain and signalman, Lighthouse keeper
Set Up: - Be sure not to use the word lighthouse until the very end. Put Captain and signalman on one side of stage and LH Keeper and signalman on the other side.
Captain: (looks through binoculars or telescope) and sees the lights of another ship heading toward him. (LH keeper shining flashlight) “Signalman contact the approaching ship. Have them change course 10 degrees to the south”
(Have Scout pretend to signal using flashing lights or semaphore flag. Have the other signalman signal back.
Captain: What did he say?
Signalman: “The reply was, Change YOUR course 10 degrees to the north.”
Captain: “Tell them, ‘I am a captain, so you change YOUR course 10 degrees to the south.’ ”
(Have Scout pretend to signal using flashing lights or semaphore flags. Have the other signalman signal back.
Captain: What did he say?
Signalman: “The reply was, “I am a seaman first class – change YOUR course 10 degrees to the north.”
Captain (infuriated): “Signal back, “This is a battleship – change YOUR course 10 degrees to the south.”
Have Scout pretend to signal using flashing lights or semaphore flags. Have the other signalman signal back
Captain: What did he say?
Signalman: “The reply was, “This is a lighthouse. Change YOUR course 10 degrees to the north!”
Arrange the boys in a large circle. Give each one a communications transmitter of some kind, such as a flashlight for Morse code, the string and can telephone, a boy’s hands for sign language, or a tom-tom for drumbeat.
Give the first boy a message to transmit, written on a piece of paper. Each boy in turn apparently relays this message to the next boy in line using his signaling device. (Remember your boys are just simulating this, not really doing it.)
The last boy writes down the message and comes up to stand beside you. You read your message, which is “Mr. Watson, come here I need you”. The boy is then asked to read his message, which is “The number you have reached is out of service. Please hang up and try again. If you think you have reached this recording by mistake…” About halfway through this speech, put your arm on the boy’s back and begin guiding him off stage, shaking your head.
Using the letter of the alphabet displayed, fill in the answer for each clue. The first one has been done for you.
The “Jungle Book” name of an important Cub Scout Leader is Akela.
When they are old enough, Cub Scouts can join a patrol of B___ _______.
The title of the leader of the Pack is C______________.
The title of the Cub Scout who is the number one den helper is the D______________.
One Cub Scout elective activity, which could include wiring a doorbell, is E__________.
Every Cub Scout shows respect to this patriotic item that is used in opening ceremonies, the F______.
The Webelos activity badge that includes the study of rocks, minerals, and mountains is G___________.
A physical journey that Scouts big and small enjoy in the outdoors is a H____________.
This is found in instruments we write with: I_____.
Kids like to see how far or how high they can do this physical action: J_____.
One way to move the ball in football or soccer is to K__________ it.
This is the noise we make when something is funny or we are happy: L________.
This is made by voices or by instruments: M___________.
A familiar information source that contains many articles and is often recycled is a N__________.
People from many nations around the world take part in the O__________ events every four years.
These play characters are fun to make and are used in some skits: P___________.
The Cubmaster expects Q____________ when he gives the Cub Scout sign.
During races or relays we move our legs quickly and this called R___________.
The act of making musical sound with words is another word for S____________.
When the Cub Scout sign is given, we must stop T_____________.
A shirt, neckerchief and slide are part of the Cub Scout U________________.
In the summer, we often take a family V______________.
When a Cub Scout is 10 years old, and in the 4th or 5th grade, he can earn the Cub Scout rank of W___________.
The musical instrument, a X__________________, sort of resembles a piano.
Today is Y________________ tomorrow.
A Z_______________ is where lots of wild animals are kept for visitors to view.
Learning to effectively communicate is fun and entertaining through the Communicator activity badge. Webelos will experience varying methods of transmitting information, which will serve them well later in life.
A code is a way of writing a whole word as a secret word. Many codes are really ciphers. A cipher is a code in which every letter of a word is written in a secret way. The Morse code is a cipher kind of code.
Codes are used all over the world. A telegram or cable is a kind of code that is written in a short way to keep costs down.
Codes are an important way of sending secrets during wartime. Brands marked on cattle and markings on planes and ships are also kinds of codes. Codes usually have two parts. The first part is for making the code. This is known as encoding the message. You need to know how to make your message a secret one.
The second part is called decoding the message. This will tell the person who gets the code how to read and understand the code. Then the person will know exactly what the message means. The more you know about codes, the more fun they are. Many people like secret codes, and so will your Webelos Scouts. Some of the easiest codes use numbers for letters.
Draw lines on paper or use lined paper. Print the letter of the alphabet on the paper. Then start with the number one and write the numbers in order below the letters.
This is a game that can be played in any Den setting, and is instructive for both the boys playing the game and for the rest of the Den watching.
Cut identical sets of geometric shapes (triangles, square, rectangles, octagons. etc.) out of different colors of construction paper. Give one set to each pair of boys, and sit them so they are facing away from each other at two tables, or on the floor.
The first boy is told to arrange his shapes in whatever fashion he chooses. When he has done so, he must tell the second boy how to arrange his set of shapes in the same arrangement. The second boy cannot ask questions, or otherwise communicate with the first boy. Observe the results with no communication.
The next time, the roles are reversed, with the second boy arranging his shapes any way he wishes. The difference now is that the first boy may ask questions, and the second boy may answer them.
A discussion can ensue about the value of questions and answers in effective communication.
This appears to be a boring grocery list. But to your friend, it's an important message. The number before each word tells which letter to use. The first letter in mop is "M", so that is the only letter that needs to be saved. Continue down the list. The third letter in bread is "E", and so on. Now the grocery list has a new meaning.
5. Cream cheese
6. Dozen eggs
7. Fruit bars
8. Bag of potato chips
10. Package of noodles
11. One can of green beans
Your message: Meet me at one.
Before the meeting, the Den leader draws symbols on poster board. Spilt the Den into two teams. Have them sit in a straight line facing forward. Give the Scout at the front of the line a piece of paper and pencil.
Rules: Everyone closes his eyes, except the Scout at the back end of the line. Only this Scout may see the image that the Den leader has drawn. Then this Scout draws the image he is shown on the back of the Scout in front of him. He may erase once, and then redraw the image. After the image is drawn on the Scout's back, he opens his eyes, then draws his image on the Scout's back in front of him. The image will finally reach the first Scout, and he will draw the image that he feels being drawn on his back on the paper. After both teams are finished, show everyone the original image and see whose drawing is most accurate.
Purpose: This game is used to show Scouts that you need all your senses to be an effective communicator and that a breakdown in communication can change the story.
ü Demonstrate and teach the Webelos Scouts the Boy Scout Motto using sign language.
ü Have a deaf. blind or mute person visit the Den and describe special problems they have communicating.
ü Instruct Scouts how to address a group.
ü H lave four Scouts take part, each reading in full, one point of the Scout Law.
ü Visit an amateur radio operator. and have him explain the use and rules of amateur band radio. Let the Scouts examine equipment and talk with someone over the amateur radio.
ü Instruct Scouts in the use of secret codes. Then let several Scouts invent and use their own code.
ü Get a copy of CB ten codes and have the Scouts use them.
ü If you cannot visit a radio or television newsroom, invite a newsperson to your meeting to talk to the Scouts about their jobs.
ü Invite a high school or middle school speech teacher to your meeting, and have them talk about communications.
Where does the information go when you delete things on your computer?
Computer hard disk drives have an arm that moves back and forth over a spinning disk. At the end is an electromagnet that is turned on and off. That can flip the molecules of the disk – a magnetic material. It arranges the molecules. The arrangement can be read later by scanning the disk with the same arm. Each bunch of molecules is called a BIT. Groups of them are called BYTES. This drawing is an 8-bit byte. As the molecules flip over, they represent a 1 or a 0. The north magnetic pole is 1, the south is 0. Digital storage always involves just 2 values; 1’s and 0’s, or on and off. Our drawing is the number 10010110. If we use a special number system called binary numbers, these 8 bits store the number as 140.
Stuff stored in digital code makes up files or documents. They are stored in little zones or sectors on a hard disk. Most of the time files are too big to fit in just one continuous line of sectors, so the files get spilt up. The first part of a file is called the header. In the header are things like the name and date of the file and also the size of the file, and a really important piece of information – which sectors the file is stored in. That information tells the arm where to scan for the data. Without the header the data is left in chunks all over the disk. When you delete a file what you’re really doing is just erasing the header. The file’s data is still there. It just doesn’t have an address anymore. Eventually it will be written over by new data
Information on a computer is not stored as matter or energy; it’s stored by arranging matter. The computer uses energy to make the arrangement, to read the arrangement or to delete the arrangement. That energy is converted into heat, which is why there are fans in computers.
One way we communicate is to mark something in a certain way to show ownership or a relationship. Your last name indicates that you are part of a family and related to others with the same name. Even names are “codes” of a sort. The blacksmith sometimes became known as SMITH and his son would be SMITHSON. Take a phone book and see if you can guess how a name may have come about.
Arrange boys in a large circle. Give each one a communications transmitter of some kind, such as a flashlight for Morse code, the string and can telephone a boy's hands for sign language or a tom-tom for drumbeat.
Give the first boy a message to transmit, written on a piece of paper. Each boy in turn tries to relay this message to the next boy in line using his signaling device. (Remember your boys are just simulating this, not really doing it.)
The last boy writes down the message and comes up to stand beside you. You read your message, which is "Mr. Watson, come here I need you". The boy is then asked to read his message, which is "The number you have reached is out of service or you have not used the correct area code. Please hang up and try again. If you think you have reached this recording by mistake…." About halfway through this speech. Put you arm on the scouts back and begin guiding him off stage, shaking your head
Have the boys write what each sign means
Use the Morse code table found in the Webelos Scout Book, Communicator section to encode a short message. Each boy should keep his message short, one sentence of 5 - 8 words, and not let other boys see it. Then let them trade messages and try to decipher them.
Word of caution:
Most of these communication centers are very security conscious, so do not be surprised or disappointed if they tell you they do not allow groups to tour.
· Trace the history of communication in a chronological order, starting with the early communication, method of sign language.
· Demonstrate the spoken word by having boys hold their hands over their larynx to feel the vibration, and make an old fashion can and string telephone. Be sure to keep the string taut and not touching anything.
· A telegraph key will demonstrate Morse code. Use the key to open and close a circuit made up of a tone buzzer and a battery. You can make the key or "bug" out of a spring clothespin if you wish.
· Invite a member of the Rotary Club or the Toastmasters International to visit your den and give examples of body language.
· Visit a meeting of these organizations to observe how communications is given
· Ask a member of the local amateur radio organization to visit your den or allow the den to visit his or her base station to see how communications is arrived using the International Morse Code.
· Listen to a CB radio or find an active Citizen Band Radio Club in your area to tell your den how the radio can help.
· Visit the local library or your school library to find out how the books are indexed to locate them easier.
· Local radio stations or television stations can show your den how they receive communications from around the world through the use of micro transmitters or satellite stations.
· Communications can be carried out in many forms. Try to locate the local organization that teaches the deaf to sign and see if they might be willing to teach the den a few basic words or phrases.
· Find out if one of the parents would be willing to show each of the boys how it a computer works and allow them to access the computer base.
· To find out the many job opportunities in the communication field, check with the local Chamber of Commerce to locate companies that use communication as a basis for employment in your area.
Out of sight of the immediate area, attach a line zigzagging between trees or stationary objects. Tie objects to the line along the way. Ten items is a good number. Blindfold each Webelos Scout and lead him to the rope. Boys then proceed down the rope, holding on and remembering the objects they come across. No talking is allowed. When each boy reaches the end of the rope, the leader takes him out of sight of the course and removes his blindfold. Boys may work individually or as group to see how many objects they can identify and remember.
A Good pack meeting demonstration!
This game is identifying sounds. The den chief or den leader produces sounds from behind a screen or in another room, and the Webelos listen. Boys try to identify each sound.
Sample sounds met be -- ping pong ball bouncing on floor, sanding a piece of wood, shuffling a deck of cards, breaking a twig or stick in half; pushing buttons on telephone, sawing wood, etc.
Webelos Scouts could work in the Communicating and Computer Academic belt loops and Pins in conjunction with this activity badge.
Actually, Circle Ten’s Book said “What’s my Line” but the game show described here is the one I named.
Let 2 or 3 boys tell a story about a similar situation, with facts a bit different in each version. One is telling a true story, the others are not. The rest of the den takes turns asking the panel questions to determine who is telling the real story. After telling their initial tales, all boys on the panel must answer all questions truthfully, even if the answers contradict their original story, so that the rest of the den can determine the truth teller.
Give boys a general topic and have each one of them draw a picture about anything to do with that topic (such as "Space Aliens") String a clothesline up between two trees. Have first boy come up, hang picture and begin to tell a story about his picture. After one minute, stop him, have the next boy come and continue story with his illustration. Continue until all boys have shared and a brand new story has been communicated to the den!
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