9 years and older
A simple as well as complex activity, attractive and creative, ideal for devel- oping cooperation within a group.
Players are separated in groups from five to ten. Each person receives the name of an animal (either written on pieces of paper which they pick out of a hat, or drawn, or whispered into the ear) that has to be kept secret. If several groups are playing at the same time, there should be a list for each group (with the same or different animals).
The aim for each group is to line up according to the increasing order of the size of animal, without talking or without any kind of sound. They have to mime their animals.
When a group is finished, the animator checks the exact order by asking every player to name his neighbour’s animal.
- everything is done in silence
- all the members of the group have to know all the names of the animals in the end.
Variation: with younger children the game can be made easier by being “blind” instead of “mute”. Then children imitate the sounds of the animals for instance.
Psychosocial: to develop self-esteem through creativity and also strategic thinking. The players need to feel free enough to express themselves with their body to reach a group objective. They also need to be honest about respecting the rule of silence.
Physical: to develop self-expression through movements.
The animator, in advance, prepares a list of animals of different sizes. It is important to choose animals that are sufficiently different to avoid misunderstanding about the size of each animal. He must make it clear that the game is non-verbal so that the children use alternative forms of communication. The animator will pay attention to the strategies used in the groups to be able to make them aware of how they are working. It is not the result which is important but the process. Are the players at ease with their bodies while imitating animals? Are certain people uncomfortable? What strategy are they using? Does each one imitate their animal in turn or do they all do it at once? Does a single player take charge of the situation? Is there good communication or lots of misunder- standing and disagreement?
- Was it difficult to get other people to guess your animal? Was it difficult to guess another person’s animal? Why?
- How did you feel about not talking? Can you explain?
- How did you organise yourselves in your group? Were there one or more leaders in the group?
- How did the non-verbal communication work between you?