New York, NY
New York, New York uses voice, gesture, and movement while requiring students to work collaboratively and quickly. The strategy supports skills in ensemble, quick decision-making and pantomime skills.
In a very large space, make (or use if one is already there) a distinct line on far end of each side of the room and line down the middle of the space. Split the group into two sections (A and B). Invite Group A to stand at one end of the room on their line and Group B at the other end of the room on their line. Teach the full group a cheer, with each ½ group practicing their part. Group A: Here we come. Group B: Where from? Group A: New York! Group B: What’s your trade? Group A: Lemonade! Group B: Give us some! Group A: Here we come! Then, swap the cheer so Group B begins and learns the first line and Group A learns the second line, and so on. Once both groups know the full cheer ask each group to stand behind a marked line on their side of their end of the space, this is their home base. Group A huddles in their home base and decides, secretly, what trade or profession they will act out (barber, painter, etc). Once the trade/profession has been decided, the chant begins. When Group A says, their final “Here we come” they moves to stand at the middle line and they act out their trade silently; Group B remains at their home base line. Then Group B (at their home base line) has to guess what trade Group A is acting out by shouting out answers. Once Group B has guessed the trade, they run to capture Group A; meanwhile, Group A runs back to its own side, attempting to cross their home base line before Group B can tag them. If members of Group B tag members of Group A in time, those tagged become members of Group B. Then the game switches and Group B begins the chant and acts out its trade with Group A trying to guess and capture Group B members. The game repeats until time is over or all members have joined one group.
- What “trades” were most memorable from this activity? Why?
- What context clues in other groups’ performance did you find most helpful?
- What key ideas do we want to remember from our work today to use in the rest of our work together?
- Think about the different, specific actions to illustrate the trade you are acting out.
- Think about how you can use context clues from the other group’s performance to infer your answer.
- Once one group guesses the other group’s trade, have both groups run in slow motion as they try to get back to base/tag the other group.
- Social Studies: Explore actions associated with important figures from history e.g., the work of Dr. Martin Luther King; actions associated with jobs in a community
- Reading/Writing: Have students explore/act out important events from a story or novel.
- Science: Have students explore/act out ecosystems, animals, states of matter.
- Math: Have students explore/act out academic vocabulary (shapes, angles, types of lines).
Neva Boyd and Helen White