Source: The new book: Tag, You’re It, by Michelle Cummings
Group size: 16-50
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Time Needed for Activity: 10 minutes
Materials: None needed
- Create an open space for play. If you are indoors, put chairs around the perimeter of the room. If you are outside, find an open space to play that is free of debris or obstacles.
- Have the participants stand in a circle. Include yourself in the circle.
- In this activity the group is divided in half, and two circles are formed, with the participants facing each other in an inner circle and an outer circle.
- Participants are asked to greet each other and are asked to participate in engaging cooperative activities such as Finger Fencing, Partner Shoe-Tie and Opera Man.
- Between each activity, the Facilitator instructs one of the circles to move 3-4 spaces to the left or right.
- The activity continues with alternating movement, activities and/or questions.
Facilitator script: “Please come and stand in a circle to hear the directions for our first game. For this next activity we need to create two circles, an inside circle and an outer circle. How we will accomplish this will be through finding a partner. Once you find a partner, one person will stand in the inside circle, the other partner will stand in the outside circle. Then you will turn and face your partner. This will give us Concentric Circles, meaning, one circle on the inside and one circle on the outside. Please find a partner and get into formation.” (Pause until this step is complete.)
- With clasped hands and extended pointer finger, participants try to ’poke’ their partner without being ’poked.’
“OK, now that you have a partner, we’re going to do a little activity called Finger Fencing. Does anyone know what the sport of Fencing entails?” (Pause for responses.) “It is a sport that uses a special sword and you try to poke your opponent with the sword without getting poked. We’re going to do a little finger fencing. Everyone look here for a demonstration.” (Demonstrate this as you describe it.) “If Savannah was my partner I would reach across with my right hand and she would do the same thing. We would clasp hands near the thumb, and then point our index finger at our partner. Our index finger becomes our sword. We’ll all stand with one foot in front of the other so we have good balance. Then we will try to poke our partner with our finger without letting them poke us. Give that a try!”
After your first interaction, instruct one group to stay stationary and the other group to move. “Ok everyone, I need the inside circle to stay stationary, and I need the outside circle to move three people to the left. Say Adios Amigos to your current partner and then move three people to your left.”
- With their dominant hand behind their back, partners work together to untie and re-tie a shoe with laces.
“OK, now that you have a new partner, introduce yourself if you don’t know their name. Then we’re going to do a new activity.” (Pause until this step is complete.) “OK, now I’d like you to look down at the four shoes in front of you, both yours and your partner’s shoes. Identify one of them that has shoe laces. Does everyone have at least one shoe that has shoelaces in your group?” (If a group does not have shoe laces, have them use the shoe of a nearby participant.) “Now what I’d like you to do is, take your dominant hand and put it behind your back. You may no longer use this hand. Together you and your partner need to untie and retie one of the shoes that has laces.” (For younger audiences, you can let them use their dominant hand.)
After this interaction, instruct one group to stay stationary and the other group to move. “Ok everyone, since the outside circle moved last time, let’s have the outside circle to stay stationary, and I need the inside circle to move four people to the right. Say Hasta la Vista to your current partner and then move three people to your left.”
- Participants introduce themselves to their partner saying their name plus an interesting fact in an operatic style, both in stance and vocality.
“OK, now that you have a new partner, introduce yourself if you don’t know their name. Then we’re going to do a new activity.” (Pause until this step is complete.) “OK, now we’re going to all play a character called Opera Man. Does anyone know what opera-style music sounds like?” (Pause for responses.) “You are correct, it’s a somewhat high-pitched vibrato-filled music. How do opera singers usually stand?” (Pause for responses. Demonstrate a few stances.) “That’s right, some kneel and put their hand up in the air, others clasp their hands and look up in the air as if they were looking up into the crowd. I’m going to ask everyone to get into an opera stance, and then we are going to introduce ourselves to our partner opera-style. You’re going to say-or sing- your first and last name in an opera-style voice to your partner. Now everyone will be doing this at the exact same time, so no one will really hear you or care what you sound like. Sing with conviction and give us your best Opera Man performance. Ready? Go!”
Safety: Slight risk of someone’s wrist getting hurt during finger fencing.
Copyright Michelle Cummings, Training Wheels