Shuffle Left, Shuffle Right

Type of Activity: Processing

Some folks have remarked that it takes more energy for an 11 year old boy to stand still, than it does for them to move! For participants that need to move during a debriefing session, here is a perfect solution.

Concepts: Providing some kinesthetic movement during a reviewing session can maintain the energy of the group, and keep those high energy folks engaged by being active.

Props Needed: None

Set Up: Begin by asking the group to form one large circle. Groups may decide to place their arms around their neighbors, hold hands, or simple stand unconnected next to each other (Variation found in Empty Bag).

The facilitator offers the group the chance to ‘have their say.’ This may be related to a particular question, or the previous activity, or be open to any viewpoint that a person in the group wishes to share. It is often helpful for the facilitator to go first, and demonstrate the style (and length) of response.

Process: The activity begins with the group shuffling to the left.

Explain that the circle will move to the “left” by taking tiny baby steps. If someone would like to stop the circle and share with the group about their thoughts or feelings about the day, then they yell out “STOP!” Once they have shared, they say, “move to the right.” The circle moves, taking small steps, to the right until another participant who wants to share calls out “STOP!” again. When this participant is finished sharing he calls out, “left” and the circle moves to the left. This process continues to the left and right until all those who wish to participate have been given the opportunity to speak up. When the facilitator “feels” that it’s time (the group is still moving, she or he will start a countdown from 10 to 1. In that time if someone says, “Stop!” the process continues. Another countdown is given when it “feels” right again. If the facilitator reaches “one” the activity concludes.

For more resources see: The Empty Bag

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