Quiz, Quiz Swap

  • March 21, 2018
  • origins

Students write quiz questions for other on cards, then swap and share new quiz questions.


  1. Students write questions on note cards with the answers on the back.
  2. Students mingle and find a partner.
  3. Each asks the question on the card and asks for an answer.
  4. Partners swap cards and move on to a new partner and begin the process again.


Empathy Talk Show

  • November 21, 2016
  • Sarah Biros

Community Level 1

Materials: None

How to play: Group students in pairs.  In each pair, one plays the role of a talk-show host. The other plays the role of the guest on the show. Present each pair with a scenario that allows students to be empathetic. The goal is for the host to elicit an empathetic response by drawing ideas from the guest about some of the experiences, feelings, and attitudes associated with that scenario.

Self Made Symphonies

  • November 21, 2016
  • Sarah Biros

Community Level 1

Materials: None or simple materials from the classroom

Group Call and Response

Begin in a circle with a simple clapping and leg slapping beat. Once the group is in sync, “call” out a four beat improvisation for the group to copy then go back to the beginning rhythm for four beats. Once the leader has made a few as a practice, pass the improvisation around the circle.

Desk Jam Trios

Rare Birds

  • August 30, 2016
  • origins

Materials: Note cards

How To Play: Leader distributes a note card to each player. On the cards, players write their names and an answer to a question the leader poses. Collect the cards and read them to the class one by one. Players write or verbalize who they think is the “rare bird,” the person who gave the most surprising answer. 

Possible topics for questions could include:

Reach Out Greeting

  • September 25, 2015
  • Sarah Biros

Students stand.  When you state a category from the list below, everyone finds people who fit that category and greet them.  Tell students that the idea is to greet as many people as possible before the category changes.  You can gradually increase the degree to which students read out.  To minimize seeking certain people, keep this greeting moving along by calling out a new category before movement stops.


Greet people whose eyes are not the same color as yours.

Greet people who have the same middle initial as you.


  • December 30, 2013
  • origins


– A ball that can be passed around the circle
– A list of words with the sh- or the sha- sound at the beginning of the

How to play: 
Form a large circle.
Choose a caller,
who stands outside the circle.
Choose a referee, who stands inside the circle.

Multi-partner Share

  • January 2, 2012
  • origins



  • January 2, 2012
  • origins

Community Level 2 – Familiar

Materials: None

As a closing everyone whispers a wish into his or her hand. Once everyone has whispered, count to three and release them together. This is a fun way to finish off the week.

Variations: This activity could also be used for a sharing by having each student in the circle share their wish.

Simultaneous Clap

  • January 2, 2012
  • origins

Community Level 1 – Acquainted

Materials: None

As a closing, holding hands at the ready, everyone tries to clap at the same moment. This takes some practice and requires students to pay very close attention to each other.


  • January 2, 2012
  • origins

Community Level 1 — Acquainted

Use these cheers to acknowledge an individual or a group, or to add energy to the close of an activity or lesson.

both arms straight out in front as if to make alligator jaws; at the signal, do
one big clap.

This cheer harkens back to the coffee shops of the 60’s. Snap
fingers in unison.

Raise hands to shoulder level, palms facing out, and wiggle fingers as you lower hands, imitating a sparkling movement.