a circle, create a movement to your name, just like in sign
language. You might want to introduce a few real signs to do before
doing this. Go around
the group and have each student present his/her name in “sign
language.” The rest of the group will copy.
Go around the group to test the group’s memory.
give a grouping and have groups discuss the topic of the grouping.
For example, form groups according to being the youngest,
in the middle, or the oldest in their family.
Have them discuss for 5 minutes and give a short summary to
the rest of the groups on what they realized or learned.
Other examples for groupings are culture, religion,
marriage status, interests, sports,
Change Something About Yourself
a partner, change 5-10 things about yourself, without your partner
looking. See if he/she can name all of them. Take turns. (ring
on another finger or in your pocket, pant leg up, etc…)
partner around the room/giving directions
Builds trust and empathy.
Pantomiming To Music
a group or partner, pantomime to music.
Keep your eyes on each other and use
a circle, one person leads the rest of the circle with a motion.
The rest of the circle follows like a wave. Example: First
person claps and the person on right or left continues pattern and
so on and so on.
Who started the motion?
is in a circle. One
person leaves-someone is the leader in the circle and starts a
motion. The rest of
the group copies this motion.
It is important to look ahead at a person directly straight
across from you in the circle.
Don’t move your head.
The leader continues to change the motion and the rest
continue to follow or copy. The person who left is brought back in and tries to guess who
started the motion.
on Shoulders in front of you
person finds a rhythm and the others in line behind the leader
something, usually routine or natural, with your eyes closed.
For example, get ready for bed with your eyes closed.
When I Woke, by Rusted Root
with the group, pairs, and groups of four
Create a Theme
a theme and create a dance…examples include musical instruments,
jobs, school subjects. Food, Adolescence…Create a dance, create
a song, a commercial, a poem, and sign language.
Do some of the play/dance in slow motion to music.
Magic Box/Toy Shop
go into a toyshop and find a magic box. This box can contain
anything a person decides to pull out.
Pantomime the shape and see if others can guess.
Pass “the box” around the room.
a play with bodies only for props…Mother Goose Rhymes work well
with this. Create
caves, mountains, trees losing leaves, bridges, windows, doors,
machines, etc… without talking.
You can later add sounds.
an object around and make it into something else.
rain stick could be made into a walking cane or a guitar!
Change a chair into something else.
an adjective and move that way.
a gesture around making it bigger and bigger
with a partner over something/anything.
Or… try to sell something to your partner.
are the parent or teenager. The
teenager wants the car for the evening.
Or you are a salesman selling magazines to a person.
Take turns playing each role.
start as a kernel, get hot, and pop like popcorn
a partner, the partner leads the other person like a puppet with
partner in position and name it.
you a candle that is burning down slowly
and freeze at the sound of a drum or another instrument…
words in box and have students pick word and try to get others to
guess the letter of the word by pantomiming that thing (like
charades). For example, to get students to guess the letter “D,” one
might act like a dog.
on the Bus/Elevator:
of the people on the bus, including the bus driver, change when a
person with a specific emotion gets on…someone who is sad gets
on the bus, the rest of the crew gets sad and starts to cry or
Frame Fairy Tales
frames tell the fairy tale. All
bodies participate whether being a prop or character.
Know the sequence, rehearse, and know your positions when
transitioning to the next frame.
is a great activity to do after recess.
Teacher does a repetition of 5-6 sounds. Have students
remember them in sequence. Try
it backwards. Examples include, clinking of coins, dropping a book,
for Representing Numbers
group creates gestures for 0-9.
The group performs their 0-9 in sequence in front of the
class...play to music and it creates a dance to music.
The gestures do not need to reflect the number necessarily.
Be creative. Try
doing this next to their phone numbers at the same time.
It is a great creative dance to be seen! They can do this also to their timetables, factors, or
a story and add sounds in appropriate places
person takes the hot seat and the others can ask 20 appropriate
questions. This is a
good way to get to know your teacher or other peers.
OR…the student or person is a character out of a story, a
famous inventor, a president, etc…
You can eventually set this up like a wax museum.
When the person is touched or a button is pushed, the wax
person gives interesting biographical information.
A Piece of Straw or any book this will work well with. Then
have students get a part and reenact the story as the teacher
reads the story again.
sits in a circle and each person gives a little part to a story.
hit lap, clap once, and then snap fingers twice.
You can tell the story, any story, and it gives it a nice
rhythm. Make up your
own like in the circle story described above.
Object Around the Circle
an object around the circle.
For example, a fragile bird, hot food, a block of ice,
sticky taffy, a lit match, etc…
newspapers, find ways to create costumes to fairy tales, mother
goose rhymes, fables, etc…
These activities were
adapted from Kathleen Collins.