"Our Iceberg Is Melting" Group Activities

by Carrie Perles; Updated September 26, 2017

"Our Iceberg Is Melting," by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber, is a fable about dealing with change. It tells the story of a colony of penguins living on an iceberg that discover that their iceberg might be melting. Because change (such as moving to a different location) is difficult, they go through eight steps in order to accept and implement the change that they realize needs to occur. You can do group activities in order to better internalize the principles set forth in this book.

Applying the Principles

The most basic activity that you can do is to have the group actually apply the principles laid out in the book. To do this, they will first need to come up with a situation that they think requires a change to be made. They should then go through and describe how each principle could be put into action in order to make that change. If possible, the group should identify which key players would be necessary in order to take each step.

Extending a Scene

The characters in the book are well-developed and can be easily acted out. The group should choose one of the scenes in the book and assign a character to each group member, and the remaining members can be penguins in the colony. Talk about the principle taught in each scene then act it out, making sure that each person stays in character throughout the skit. Afterward, discuss how it felt to play out the different characters and whether the students could identify with how their particular character felt.

Choose Two

Set out two boxes with slips of paper inside of them. One box should be filled with "situations of change" that may come up in school, extracurricular activities or personal life. The slips of paper in the second box should each have a principle from the book written on them. Each member of the group chooses a slip from each box. Group members then take turns reading their two slips and talking about how they could use the principle they chose in the situation they chose.

Our Iceberg: The Movie

Groups should work together to come up with a movie in which a change is introduced. They should then take apart the movie to figure out which of the steps were taken fully and which were not. In a group discussion, they should decide whether the steps that were not taken affected the way in which the change was implemented in the movie, as well as which of the steps taken were most important to the outcome of the change.

About the Author

Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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