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2. Set

In this activity…

Students are assigned an “impossible” task which can only be solved by asking for help to understand that sometimes the only way forward involves asking for help. They also use this activity to reflect on their level of resistance and beliefs around asking for help.


It’s game time!

Hand each student a copy of the maze (which is unsolvable) and give them the following information:

  1. Everyone is receiving a copy of an extremely challenging maze and you have the next 10 minutes to work on solving this maze.
  2. Please keep the worksheet face down on your desk so that everyone starts at the same time.
  3. You do not need any supplies other than a pen or pencil and, if you want, an eraser.
  4. I will be sitting at my desk for this activity. If you need help, raise your hand and wait for me to acknowledge you before coming to my desk.

Maze Worksheet available in download section.

The trick to this activity is that the maze is not solvable. The activity can only be finished by asking for help. If a student raises their hand and comes to your desk to ask for help, give them a slip of paper that says: “Congratulations on making it out of the maze!

This maze is unsolvable and the only way to make it out is to ask for help. Work on the maze at your desk for another couple minutes so that the solution is not too obvious. We will reflect on the significance of this activity at the end of the 10 minutes”.

You can either print and cut out the “Get Out of Maze Free Cards” or simply write a similar note on a scrap piece of paper for every student that asks for help.

Get out of Maze Free Card available in download section.

At the end of the 10 minutes, tell students that the time is up and let them in on the “secret” that the maze is unsolvable and the only way to get out of the maze was to ask for help. Let this settle with students for a moment and expect some protests of this being unfair or stupid. Then, facilitate a 10-minute discussion using the following prompts:

  • For those of you who did not ask for help, what got in the way? Why didn’t you ask for help?
  • For those of you who asked for help, how was the experience? Were you worried about being judged by other people? Was it easier to ask for help after someone took the first step?
  • What can we learn from this activity that applies to everyday life?
  • Do you have a hard time asking for help in other areas of your life? Which areas? What makes it hard to ask for help?
  • Think about a challenge that you have faced in the past and tried to complete on your own. How might asking for help have affected your experience or the outcome?
  • With regards to mental health, what gets in the way of asking for help or accessing professional support services?
  • How can we address those barriers?