Energizers, Part 1 – Gotcha.

In high school, we often forget about the importance of doing some structured short kinesthetic and fun physical activities to break up the day.  We’ve all seen it; the students come back from lunch heavy with grease and soda and about to crash in advisory.  You want to get them going, but “Grab your journal!” just doesn’t have the compelling pull you think it should.  This is the time for an energizer – a short activity designed to engage people, get them up and moving around – life the spirit and pump the blood.  They don’t have to be fancy or heavily planned: you could teach students a couple of yoga poses, a dance, or play “Simon Says.”  You can also try these activity:

  1. Gotcha – (Grab the Finger) – this one works (Description is from this web page)
  • Participants stand in a circle, arms out to the side.  Left hand palm up, right index finger pointing down and touching on neighbor’s outstretched palm.
  • “When I say the word go, do two things…. grab the finger in your left hand, and prevent your right finger from being grabbed… 1 … 2 … 3 … [add suspense] … Go!”.
  • Repeat several times. Try doing best two out of three, rotate to different partners
  • Tom Leahy advises “put big energy, and your own style to it…it never fails to grab everyone’s attention, bringing them immediately to the present…Provides perfect off the bus spark for the day….Good for 10 minutes”.
  • The trick is dramatizing the “Go!”, the build up of suspense, and most will jump the gun, adding to the fun.
  • Try a different trigger word, e.g., “Cheese”, and mention lots of other “eeze” words for humor – peas, sneeze, wheeze, please and freeze.
  • Or use the word/theme of the day – this is a good way to reinforce topics that you have been working on in advisory.
  • Can transition to talking about “assumptions” and “temptation”, etc.
  1. Remember, as a leaderDon’t be afraid to be goofy (if you won’t,  no one else will).