Type of Activity: Problem Solving
Props Needed: None
Set Up: Need a nice open space for your group to form a circle. Plays well with 16 to 25 participants for 25 to 35 minutes. Ask the group to form a Double Chicken Wing circle (see The Chicken Game). Ask each participant to hold up one hand.
Process: Establish a pattern by taking turns pointing and saying "you" to someone across the circle (just like in the activity Human Warp found in this section). After a participant has pointed he or she should put his or her hand down – the last participant pointed to will point to the first participant that pointed. Have the group practice the, “You Pattern” until they have it down. Now you are going to ask the group to establish a, “Fruit and Vegetable Pattern” different from the, “You Pattern.” So, same process, have participants hold up one hand. Have one participant start by pointing to someone across the circle saying a fruit or vegetable (make sure you remind the participants to remember the fruit or vegetable that was passed to them and the one they passed). After pointing the participant puts down his hand. Ask participants not to repeat any fruits and/or vegetables – 25 participants 25 different fruits or vegetables. Have the group practice this one several times so they can get it into memory. Then ask them to close their eyes and repeat the fruit and vegetable pattern – they will be a bit surprised, but will soon realize it’s doable.
The interesting aspect of this activity is that it combines the use of all three major learning styles into one activity. The “You Pattern” requires the visual and the “Fruit and Vegetable Pattern” requires the auditory (as you proved by having the group close their eyes). What remains is the kinesthetic learning style. Here’s where the activity gets interesting. Practice the “You Pattern” once again. Along with this pattern the participants will be moving to the spot of the person they are passing the “You” to. For example, if I’m passing my “You” to Scott, I point at Scott and say, “You” while I’m walking towards him. Scott needs to move from his spot, in the direction of the person he points to in the “You Pattern,” before I reach Scott’s spot – which then becomes my new place in the circle. Scott is on his way to his new place in the circle after his “You” participant vacates her spot. The most challenging part of this activity for the participants seems to be remembering that they only move from their spot during the “You Pattern,” because, after sufficient practice moving during the “You Pattern” they are going to add their “Fruit and Vegetable Pattern.”
So, as the “You Pattern” is going on (with “Yous” and movements) a designated participant is going to start out the “Fruit and Vegetable Pattern” by calling out her food real loud, “Apple!” The next participant, remembering that an apple was passed to him, calls out his, “Tomato!” and the pattern continues – at the same time the “You Pattern” is going on. If the “Fruit and Vegetable Pattern” dies out, any participant can start it up again calling out his or her food. We usually challenge the group to success by getting through the “Fruit and Vegetable Pattern” twice without a break in the flow. Don’t be apprehensive about stopping and regrouping. Find out from the group where the challenges are, practice what is needed, then give it another try. We have rarely seen groups just breeze right through this one. However, when they get it, it sure is rewarding.
Note: If you see fit, you might need to remind the group that this activity is not being timed – you’ll see what we mean.
For original write up purchase "The Empty Bag.”
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