This team-building game in one of the hardest ones for students to do. It is an oldie but goodie. I use this one about once a quarter, because we always need to continue to learn to work together. Plus it’s a great filler for those rainy day recesses. The human knot involves actually learning to listen to others and not always take the lead. Here are the instructions.
- Divide the class into groups of 5-6.
- Have students raise their right hand.
- Reach across the circle and grab one hand.
- Raise left hand.
- Reach out and grab a DIFFERENT hand than the first one.
- Now unwind (Without letting go) to make a circle.
This game is a great one for learning names at the beginning of the school year. You can easily get an idea of student comfort levels and personalities.
- Each person comes up with a sign. (Maybe a disco dance, thumbs up, whatever you want, get creative!)
- For the 1st round, go around the circle and say your name as you do your sign.
- For the 2nd round (like “I’m going on a trip) start with one person. Do the sign and the name. Then the next person does the first persons name and sign, then adds theirs. The third person does the first person’s, then the second person’s, then adds their name and sign. Continue on until you get to the last person.
- For the 3rd round. Pass the sign. So say your name and do your sign, and then pass it to another by saying their name and doing their sign.
- The 4th round is where is gets fun. This time you pass the sign (without saying names.)
- Send one person “guesser” out of the room.
- Pick another person to start passing the signs.
- Invite the “guesser” back in and try to pass the signs without that person catching you.
The class must learn to support one another. This game involves everyone working together.
- Make a giant circle.
- Move in closer until you are shoulder to shoulder.
- Everyone turn to the right.
- Now, GENTLY sit down.
- You should all be supporting one another to sit.
I’m sure you have heard of this one before. But ordering is a great way to get your students to learn “body language.” The main rule in ordering is there is not talking. The rest is up to them.
- Pick a topic. Order by birthday, alphabetically, how many pets you have.
- Go – Students order themselves based on your instructions.
- Once ordered, have them answer the question (what’s your birthday, what does your name start with, etc.) to check how accurate they were in ordering.
Peanut Butter Pit
The goal of this one is for the entire class to get across the “peanut butter pit” without falling in and only with the given materials. (Hint: Someone is going to have to go back each time to get the rest).
- Give the class 4 boards.
- Put everyone on one side of the classroom (if it’s nice you can always try outside).
- Then have them figure out how to get everyone across.
- Rule: You cannot throw the boards. The only way to move them is to HAND them to another person.
- If someone falls off, they have to go back to the start side (just that person, not the entire group.)
This is a really good way to assess if students know your expectations. This is a great game to play after the first week of school or throughout the year to review your procedures and expectations. (You can get charade FREEBIES in this article: 4 Fun Ways to Ensure Your Expectations are Met).
- Divide the class into groups of 3-4 students.
- Handout a charade card for each round.
- The groups act out the procedure. (They get 10 secs to plan before “performing.”)
4 Corners of Fear
I think almost everyone knows how to play 4 corners. This time, take away the “guesser” and get an idea of how your students feel.
- Label the corners 1-4. 1 is not at all. 2 is kind of. 3 I am fearful. 4 -Terrified.
- Call out situations and have the students go to that corner. This is a good way to let students know they aren’t alone in their fears.
- Examples of fears: sharks, the dark, spiders, math tests, cold, scary movies, reading in front of a group, being in a talent show, etc.)
4 Corners of Love
Just like 4 Corners of Fear but change all topics to things you love. Examples – horses, dogs, writing, math, singing, sports, etc.
Create a small bulletin board or graffiti wall where kids can write compliments. Encourage them to focus on the inside. What attributes are really at the core of someone.
More articles from the Classroom Management Series: (Just Click the Pink Text)