Games for Building Community
and for transitions
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Pantomime Games
Participants mirror each other in silence. This exercise has the participants focusing on each other to mirror the actions of the person modeling the movements. Initially, and periodically the teacher leads the mirroring activity to model effective movements. It is very important to have the students lead the mirroring very often. These exercises are very effective community builders that build collaborativeness and the ability to focus. They are excellent for transitions in classrooms.

Group Mirror
One person stands facing everyone in the class. They can stand anywhere in the class. It is important everyone has a clear view of the person leading the movement. All participants should stand clear of any objects or furniture. The order of modeling could be:

  • moving arms
  • moving arms and hands
  • moving arms, hands, and fingers
  • moving arms, hands, fingers, and head
  • moving arms, hands, fingers, head, and torso
  • moving arms, hands, fingers, head, torso, and elements of the head (e.g. the eyes)

The person who is the 'mirror' leads the participants for approximately 30 seconds, then says freeze, with all the 'reflections' now a stop motion of their movements. Then upon hearing continue they continue the reflection of the mirror. Group mirror is very effective to quickly start with the students participanting from wherever they are in the class.

Circle Mirror
The class, including the teacher stand in a circle allowing room for arm movement. The teacher can initially take the lead as the mirror. The person who is the 'mirror' leads the participants for approximately 30 seconds, then says freeze, with all the 'reflections' now a stop motion of their movements. The mirror then selects another person to become the new mirror. The reflections now imitate the motions of the new mirror. One student can do the timekeeping. The reflections now have a full view of the mirror allowing additional motions beyond those listed in Group Mirror including:

  • moving up and down
  • moving legs and feet
  • whole body movement

Circle mirror is excellent as a collaborative community build with equal focus upon each other. It is very effectively used when students will be changing their location in the room. The circle would be formed in the location of the next classroom activity.

Duet Mirror

Very similar to exercises and actions in Circle and Group Mirror. The students would stand up and face a partner. Everyone, including the teacher (model), pair with someone in the classroom. They select a mirror person in each pair. They then start until they hear the word freeze in approximately thirty seconds. The reflection now becomes the mirror. If there are an odd number of people in the class, there can be one group of three.

Who Leads

Conducted similarly to Circle Mirror. One person who is chosen as the detective turns around (or leaves the room). A person is selected to be the mirror without the detective hearing or seeing the selection. The detective is invited back into the circle and/or room, where they will try to determine who the lead mirror is.

Robert Price - 66 First Place #3 - Brooklyn, NY 11231 - 718.855.8548
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art by ashley james