Issue 105: The “Silent” Game

Have the children sitting in rows in front of you.

The leader (that’s you!) sits on a chair, or stands in front of the children so that they can all see you clearly.

You move your hands slowly and carefully into different positions and shapes, and the children exactly mirror your actions, but be very careful to MAKE NO SOUND at all. No clapping, or finger clicks, or patting. They key to the success of this game is utter silence.

As the children get the idea, you will be able to be more detailed in your movements; eg holding out your hands and bending just one finger, moving your hands close together but one rotated differently, making interesting shapes with your hands, raising and lowering your arms while wiggling your fingers…

In silence, you gesture to the children to ask who would like to lead, in silence they put their hands up, in silence you choose the next leader, in silence the game continues.

What’s the point? You will find the children are intently focussed and you have their complete attention.

It’s a good way to settle a class, fill in time, make a break between activities, or regain calm at the end of a lesson.

I spotted this game used by another teacher at a school where I was waiting for a concert to begin. If you see this post and know who you are, well, you have my grateful thanks!

(I should have chosen a different “end of post” picture this week – these birds are making TOO MUCH NOISE!)

Chatting birds


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