I call it the "Clap Pass" and the directions are simple, but playing it results in laughing and lots of fun!
Have students make a circle of around five to six. Our tables are six students each, so this is easy, but they can also count off or you can use any number of grouping strategies (I'll sometimes use my Monster Parter Cards).
Choose someone as the first to go (I'll often designate this at the beginning of the year, but you could also do closest birthday or a similar fun fact). That person needs to make eye contact with someone else in the group (no talking!) and when the two of them make eye contact, both clap.
That new person is now responsible for finding someone else in the circle to make eye contact with and clap in unison. The "in unison" is the tricky part, and you will soon have kids giggling at the deliberateness with which they are staring and clapping at each other.... and if you're like me, you'll be giggling right along with them ;)
The eye contact and clap in unison continues and you can throw out challenges along the way, such as:
- increasing the speed
- having two people making eye contact and clapping, not just one
- having them clap twice, not just once, (or clap & snap, etc.) in unison
- and more!
If there's time at the end, feel free to have groups volunteer to demonstrate their skills to the whole group. This is such a great activity because there is no competition and the end goal is just to be having fun! Kids will have a riot with the fact that it seems so simple as you're explaining it, but turns into such a challenge as they continue to play :)
What better way to have them start in a new table group or work group than with smiles, laughter, and already sharing in this silly experience?
If you're interested, I have made a circle for *free* to add to your Brain Breaks Bucket. Click HERE or on the picture above to grab it from Google Docs.
What are some of your icebreakers for new table spots/group work?