Four Magic Letters

Experiment communication and team collaboration within project team. Do it in a fun way with this alphabet based game


An experiential activity using the alphabet, but with a little twist. The trainers ask the participants to form only 4-letter words (as in Four Magic Letters :)). The goal is to form as many as possible in 2-minute rounds. To do this, they will have to come up with a strategy and proper approaches. While doing this, key aspects of team collaboration and change management reveal themselves.



  • Introduce the activity to the participants. Mention the rules, number of tiles, number of rounds, time per round etc. Split them into teams.
  • Mention the fact that the activity is not about competing against the other teams.
  • Join each team and provide the activity link.


  • During the first planning phase (5 minutes), teams practice working with the virtual alphabet tiles. They start defining their strategy, roles, etc.
  • At the end of this planning phase, they provide the facilitator with an estimate. They have to mention how many 4-magic letter words they will create in the execution phase (2 minutes). Once they complete the planning phase, the trainer puts the tiles back into the set.
  • During the execution phase, team members focus on matching/exceeding the estimate.
  • The second round of planning (5 minutes) focuses on optimizing the results.
  • At the end of this planning phase, teams come up with a new estimate – the number of words they will create in the next execution phase (2 minutes). Once they complete this planning phase, the trainer puts the tiles back into the set.
  • After the second round of execution, the final one will immediately take place. There won’t be a third planning phase. The final execution round is also a 2- minute round.

Debrief (suggested)

  • The facilitator may ask the following questions:
    • How satisfied are you with the results?
    • What helped you reach these results?
    • Who took the leadership in your team?
    • What challenges did you face during this activity? What or who helped you overcome them?
    • Who came up with a great idea and you would like to give thanks for?
    • If you were to do this all over again, what would you do differently to improve the results?
    • What resemblances do you see with what happens at work?


Interesting variations can be found using different durations, number of rounds, and number of participants. Having a nominated observer may add a lot of insights.

Additional info

This activity follows activity type guide from CARTA

Play in Colltrain

Choose your language

Similar Posts