Crumbling invites students to move around an open space, control their bodies, and be responsible for gently catching one another as they crumble to the ground. This strategy helps students build trust and awareness skills through a collaborative group challenge.
Define a large designated space with lots of room to move. Introduce the activity: In this strategy everyone receives a number. Then we cover the space silently and I will call out a number and the person with that number will call out “Crumbling!” then crumble their body very slowly and safely towards the ground. At the same, the rest of the group tries to support the crumbling student to stand upright again. Clarify that the goal for the group is keep the person crumbling from falling to the ground. The goal for the person crumbling is to call out loudly and to crumble slowly, so that they can be caught. It can be useful to model this action and ask the group to establish rules for safety and physical contact for both the people crumbling and the people working to catch the crumbler/s. Invite students to walk in the space, without speaking or making physical contact. When the group has reached a comfortable rhythm and pace, call out a number. Once the crumbler has been brought back up, repeat the process. Once directions are clear, 2 or 3 numbers can also be called at the same time. If the group is struggling, pause the game and strategize ways to be more successful.
- What did you notice about yourself as you participated in this activity? What did you notice about the group?
- How did it feel to crumble, to be caught, and to catch?
- What skills did we use in this activity to be successful and safe and solve the problem? How else can we use these skills?
- The group is responsible for everyone’s safety and there are never too many catchers.
- It should be silent except for the voice saying, “Crumbling.”
- The group can use “the force” or imagined energy from their hands to support the people who crumble; no physical touch is required.
- Math: Have students wear a sticky note with their number attached to their shirt. Explore different sorts of math facts. Crumble if you are an even number? a factor of 2? Divisible by 3? If you have a 2 in the hundreds place? If you are multiple of 5?
- Social Studies: Have students play as a US state (e.g., California, Ohio, Virginia). Crumble if fought on the side of the south during the Civil War? Or as a figure from history.
- READING/WRITING: Have students play as a character from a story. Crumble if you were against war in our story? Or as a word. Crumble if you are an adjective?
- SCIENCE: Have students play as animal or an element from the periodic table.