Verbal and Hands-on Verbal

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Spider’s Web - Verbal

  1. You will have 1 minute to think and 3 minutes to respond. You may ask questions during your think time: however, time continues. No other talking is allowed.
  2. You will receive 1 point for each common responses.  Highly creative or humorous responses will receive 5 points. This will be the subjective opinion of the judges and the judge's decision is final.
  3. Your team is to take turns in sequence. You may not skip your turn, or repeat, or pass. If one member of the team is stuck, the team is stuck.
  4. Once time begins, it will not be stopped. If the judge asks you to repeat a response, or to clarify it, or to give a more appropriate response, it counts against your time. Speak loudly and clearly.
  5. Your problem is to imagine that you are a fly trapped in a spider’s web. What would you do or what would you say? For example, you might say "I hope the spider has already had lunch!" 

Best and the Worst - Verbal

  1. This Verbal Problem has Two Parts. In Part One, you will have 1 minute to think and 1 minute respond. You may ask the judges questions, but time continues. You may not talk to each other at any time. After you have given answers in Part One, a second part of the problem will be read to you, and you will be given 1 minute to think and 2 minutes to respond. During this thinking time, you also may not talk to each other at any time.
  2. You will receive 1 point for each common response. Creative or humorous responses will receive 3 points. This will be a subjective opinion of the judges, and the judge's decision is final.
  3. Your team is to take turns in sequence. You may not skip your turn, or repeat, or pass. If one member of the team is stuck, the team is stuck.
  4. Once time begins, it will not be stopped. If the judge asks you to repeat a response, or to clarify it, or to give a more appropriate response, it counts against your time. Speak loudly and clearly. Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or another event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.

PART 1: Your problem is to say what the worst thing that could happen in an Odyssey of the Mind competition is. After you have completed two rounds of responses, and given two answers each, or when time ends, there will be the second part of this problem. 

 PART 2: The next part of your problem is to say what the best that could happen in an Odyssey of the Mind competition is. Continue responding until time ends. 


Speedy Spontaneous - Verbal


  1. You will have 1 minute to think and 3 minutes to respond. You may ask questions during your thinking time, however, time continues. No other talking is allowed.
  2. The faster your team completes this problem, the more points it will receive. If all responses are given within 1 minute, your team will receive 50 bonus points. If all responses are given within 2 minutes your team will receive 25 bonus points. If it takes more than 2 minutes to finish responding, no bonus will be given.
  3. Your team is to take turns in sequence. You may not skip your turn, or repeat a response. If one member of the team is stuck, the team is stuck.
  4. Once time begins, it will not be stopped. If the judges ask you to repeat a response or clarify it, or to give a more appropriate response, it counts against your time. Speak loudly and clearly.
  5. There are cards placed before each of you. After you give a response, you will place a card in the box. Time will stop when all cards are placed in the box or the 3 minutes is up.
  6. Once time begins, it will not be stopped. If the judge asks you to repeat a response, or to clarify it, or to give a more appropriate response, it counts against your time. Speak loudly and clearly.
  7. Your problem is to name things that are fast or move quickly. (repeat number 5)

Make sure that each student has 10 cards for a total of 50 possible responses.

Designing Animals - Verbal

  1. You will have one minute to think and three minutes to respond. Questions count against your thinking time.
  2. You will receive one point for each common response. Highly creative or humorous responses will receive three points. This will be a subjective opinion of the judge and the judge's decision is final.
  3. Each team member has been given 6 marbles (beans, whatever small item is handy for coach/judges). Each time you give an answer, you must put one marble in the container in the center of the table. You may not skip your turn, not repeat nor pass. If one member of the team is stuck, the team is stuck. When you have no more marbles or when three minutes ends, your response time ends.
  4. Once the time begins, it will not be stopped. If the judge asks you to repeat or to clarify your answer, it counts against your time. Speak loudly and clearly.
  5. THE PROBLEM IS: We all enjoy reading about animals that are "make believe," such as the "Push-Me Pull-You" in Dr. Doolittle. Your problem is to pretend you could add something to an existing animal to make a new animal. Tell what you would add to which animal and why. For example, you could say "I would give my dog a lion’s roar, so he would be a better watchdog." (Repeat "The Problem Is…")

 

Give each team member 6 small objects, and place a bowl or container in the center of the table.


Be sure to give exactly one minute to think and three minutes to respond. Timing is critical. Students responding at the buzzer can finish and be scored.


You should repeat the problem for each team. You may answer questions during the one minute thinking period.


Score: One point for each common response and three points for each creative.


Common Responses: Anything that might make an animal prettier or more useful in an ordinary way, such as giving a cat a pink coat to look pretty, giving giraffe wings to reach the tops of trees, etc.


Creative Responses: Any more humorous, unusual, or abstract changes, such as giving a pet dust mops for feet so he can dust the floors, or coloring an elephant with camouflage colors so he can hide in trees, etc.


NOTE: Once an answer is given and then another very similar answer is given, count it as common only and then declare any other answers that are basically the same as duplicates.

Setting the Scene - Verbal Hands On

  1. This is a two-part problem.  In Part 1, you will have 6 minutes to develop your solution and practice. In Part 2, you will have 3 minutes to present your solution for the score.
  2. Your problem is to create a scene of one of the four seasons.  You can present your scene in any way your team decides.
  3. You may only use your bodies and yourselves to present the scene; no props of any kind may be used.
  4. Your team must also include one enhancement to the scene. This could be a song, dance, poem, or anything the team decides enhances the scene.
  5. When Part 1 ends, you will tell the judges the season you are presenting and what enhancement you are presenting. You will then begin Part 2. 
  6. The score will be as follows:

  • The creativity of the scene: 1-20 points
  • How well the season is presented in the scene: 1-25 points
  • The creativity of the enhancement: 1-15 points 
  • How well the enhancement adds to the scene: 1-15 points
  • Team Work: 1-25 points

Your problem is to create a scene of one of the four seasons. You may present your scene in any way your team decides. You have 6 minutes in Part 1 to develop your solution and practice. Part 1 begins NOW


The judge starts the timer for Part 1, 6 minutes. At the end of Part 1, the team tells the judges the season they are presenting and the enhancement they are presenting. The judge then starts time and allows the team 3 minutes for Part 2. 


For judges only:
Do not allow teams to use anything they may have on them as a prop. 

Sound Off! - Verbal Hands On

  1.  You will have one minute to think and four minutes to respond.  Questions count against your thinking time.
    1. You may talk among yourselves during think time, but only the team member giving a response may talk during response time.
    2. You must give a response in turn, going clockwise around the table.  You may not skip your turn, nor repeat, nor pass.  If one member of the team is stuck, the team is stuck.
    3. You will receive points as follows:  For each common answer given, you will receive 1 point.  For each creative answer, you will receive 4 points.
    4. On the table in front of you is a container with 6 objects.  When it is your turn to respond, you must choose one object from the container.  You will give a reply using that object, and will keep the object until all 6 have been used.  At that point, everyone will return their objects to the container and the next person to respond will choose one object, and so on.
    5. Once you have chosen an object, you are to make a sound effect with that object you picked.  You must then give a response to the following problem:
    6. YOUR PROBLEM IS:  Tell what the sound you made might be.  For example, you could crinkle the bag and say “It is a person throwing away trash.”
    7. Remember to keep the object in your hand while your team members each choose an object and give a reply.  When the container is empty, all objects are returned to the container and you will continue with the next person to give a response.
    8. You may not ALTER the objects except to bend, stretch or fold them.  You may not tear or destroy them.

The judge should repeat # 6, #7, and #8.  Then say, “Time Begins.”

FOR JUDGES ONLY:

Use a large bowl or bag to contain the following objects and place on the table:

  • 1 paper lunch sack
  • 1 rubber band
  • 1 film canister or similar object filled with 6-7 dry beans
  • 1 hinged item that makes noise, such as a nutcracker (hinged sort) or mouli grater
  • 1 empty small plastic soda bottle
  • 1 empty CD case

Demonstrate to the team by taking an item and then returning all 6 items at once when you read that portion of the problem.


All answers that relate to the sound effect in a way that might be the actual sound of a common object (rattle is a rattlesnake, plink of rubber band is a guitar, etc.) are common answers.


Creative answers would be those that relate the sound to something humorous, unusual, or non-physical, such as plink of rubber band is “my thoughts stretching to answer this question,” or rattle of canister is “the knees of an audience watching Alfred Hitchcock.”

COMING SOON _Spontaneous Problems -- Examples and Scoring


These will be updated weekly so you can use them for practice with your teams

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