Community Builders can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be used at the start of a new year, for a new class, to build the community in your classroom. Community Builders can be active and they can be done as a whole class or in groups. They can be used to share knowledge during a topic or to evaluate learning at the end of a module.
‘Count off’ Apple, Pear, Apple, Pear, etc. person in middle says apples and all apples find a new chair, or pear and all pears find a new chair. If fruit salad, everyone finds a new chair. Can add in more fruits.
Have You Ever?
Only enough chairs for people seated. Someone who does not have chair stands in the centre of the circle and asks ‘Have you ever…? and says something true about themselves. (i.e. Have you ever played golf?) If it is also true for others in the circle they need to move and find another seat with the person in the middle attempting to sit also leaving someone else standing in the circle. You may not move to the chair next to you or sit in the one you just left.
Sing My Bonnie alternating standing and sitting every time a ‘B’ word is sung. Increase challenge by singing faster.
Giants, Wizards & Elves
- Active, all-engaging game — fun way to get a group physically and mentally alert
- Handy precursor to activities on teamwork and cooperation
- Requires large space
- A creative team variation of “Rock, Paper Scissors”
- Teach everyone the following three characters:
o Giant – Tip-toes, raise hands above head, curl fingers, growling sounds “Rarrr!”
o Wizard – Crouch slightly, as wizards are a bit shorter. Wave your fingers as though you’re casting a magical spell, and make a magical noise: “Shaazaam!”
o Elf – Crouch down very low, cup your hands around your ears, and make a high pitched elf noise: “Eeeee!”
- Give people plenty of practice by calling out the characters and having them instantly become that character – offer lots of positive encouragement for dramatic effort
- Form two teams – each team convenes to decide on a character
- Teams then line up facing each other (use a rope on the ground to separate teams). Have ~ 4 feet between teams.
- Facilitator dramatically announces “1….2…..3…..”, then teams adopt their poses, revealing their identity
o Giant wins by ’squishing’ an Elf
o Elf wins by ‘outwitting’ a Wizard
o Wizard wins by ‘zapping’ a Giant
o Identical characters are a draw
- Teams then reconvene and decide on their next character
- A more energetic version is when the winning team try to catch the other team before they get back to safety.
Superheroes, e.g., Spiderman, Superman, Wonderwoman
Equipment: A large space (60-120 feet wide), rope to mark the central line
Important: Participants should be dressed for exercise
Time: ~15 minutes
Brief Description: Fun game with suspense, laughter and exercise. Giant (arms up, roars) beats elf (hands to ears); elf beats wizard (waves wand & “kazaam”); wizard zaps giant.
Variations: Another version involves participants using the character “dying actions” Make these rather dramatic and embarrassing if you can – increases the motivation to “win”. First team to 5 wins.
- Giants are electrified, frazzled and then freeze in motion (or drop to ground)
- Wizards clutch chest, struck by pain in the heart
- Elves shrink and shrivel up, moaning
A great community builder to play with your whole class. Make a circle of chairs including one extra chair. The people on either side of the empty chair try to be the first one to slap their hand down on the chair. The quickest person then moves onto the chair and says “I sit” the person next to them moves onto their chair and says “under the tree” the person next to them moves into their chair and says”beside my friend” and points to someone across the circle who now moves across to that chair. This leaves an empty chair and so the game continues.
You can change the words used to I sit …on the deck…beside my shipmate…. etc.