I have a third grade lesson I absolutely love which gives them a big challenge.
1. I split the class in to two groups, and each group must travel from one side of the room to the other only using three small foam mats.
2. Students are not allowed to step on the floor or destroy the mats.
3. Teams have five minutes to discuss strategy or how they are going to accomplish the goal.
4. After they have formulated a plan, I give them five minutes to achieve the goal.
In 9/10 cases, the teams are not successful; they have agreed on only one way of doing things, and therefore, the frustration mounts after each unsuccessful attempt. The way this activity transpires lends itself nicely to so many topics: working together, respect, tone of voice, actions/words defining character, being open to other ideas/opinions, etc. I spend a bit of time parroting back to the kids what I heard them saying, and I have them imagine what it would be like if their teacher spoke to them in the ways they spoke to one another, and ultimately, how they act determines how others feel about them.