- Project Zero’s Pedagogy of Play
- How Improv Can Open Up the Mind to Learning in the Classroom and Beyond
- Playworks: Recess significantly impacts safety, learning and physical activity
- Why sitting is bad for you, from TED Ed
ICE BREAKERS / INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITIES:
- What are you passionate about?
- Go around circle / room and each person says 3 words that express what they’re passionate about.
- Name + Movement
- Split into small groups or stay in whole class. [If small groups, mix it up at some point during this so kids can be with different kids.]
- Each person says their name and makes a body movement / sound effect.
- Everyone says, “Hi ______,” and does their movement and sound.
- Then, go back around the circle and say everyone’s name and movement / sound who’s gone so far.
- “People think I’m ______ but really I’m _______. ” [model first]
- Pass the [invisible] ball
- Show the group the ball you’re [not] holding in your hands; make it about kickball dimensions and squishability, so they are familiar with it. Ask them to visualize it.
- Start passing it around, and every so often, change some of its characteristics [now it’s really heavy; the size of a marble; covered with sharp spikes; made out of very delicate glass; super sticky; really slimy; filled with helium; etc…]
- Characteristic-changing can stay with teacher, or kids can take turns changing characteristics.
- Facial Expression Telephone
- Practices empathy
- Pass around a facial expression that expresses an emotion.
- Everyone starts with their eyes closed/head down, then can look up and watch once they’ve passed the expression.
- At the end, kids guess what emotion it is, and discuss what emotion they got when they took it.
COMMUNITY BUILDING ACTIVITIES:
- pattern game where one student leaves the room and one person is chosen as leader. Leader begins pattern (i.e. clapping), student who left room comes back in and as they are looking around circle, leader changes pattern. Student who left gets three guesses.
- Boppity bop, bop, bop
- Students are standing in a circle, one person is in the middle. Person in the middle is “it” and rotates from person to person on perimeter. “It” person can says two things: bop or boppity, bop, bop, bop while moving down the line. Person facing the “it” person in the middle has to say bop before the leader finishes saying boppity, bop, bop, bop. If the “it” person says bop, the person on the perimeter can’t say anything. If the “it” person tricks someone on the perimeter, they become “it.”
- add pirate (person facing bopper stands on one leg with telescope, person on either side rows boat, while class sings “Row Your Boat” and punctuates the end with “argggghhh!”
- add stonehenge (everyone in circle raises both arms and goes hmmmmmmm)
- add hula (person facing bopper does hula dance while person on either side waves palm tree leaf)
- airplane (person facing bopper goes “hmmmmm” while person on either side demonstrates a wing)
- “What are you doing?”
- circle game.
- first person does an action.
- second person says “what’re you doing?”
- first person says any action, except what they are actually doing, preferably something outlandish, say wrestling a grizzly bear.
- second person has to mime wrestling a grizzly bear, person after that says “what’re you doing?” second person says “I’m doing jumping jacks.” keep going around the room.
- IMPORTANT: must preface this by emphasizing importance of keeping it school appropriate – no toilet humor and only appropriate words. Also, no shouting out what someone should do for their part.
- ALSO: try this on the last day of school with parents or at back to school night.
- “Warm, Hot and Cold”
- one person goes outside.
- teacher takes three volunteers who present ideas for places where an object (typically a dry erase board eraser) can be hidden.
- class votes on where
- person comes back inside.
- rest of class directs person to object with “warm, hot and cold.”
- SKILLS DEVELOPED:
- learning to accept that your idea may not be voted for.
- voting for something based on your personal intuition and not what’s most popular.
- helping out others
- SKILLS DEVELOPED:
FUN FOR TEACHERS:
Physical education, the importance of PLAY, and outdoor appreciation