Who Started the Motion?
Who Started the Motion is a problem-solving activity that requires close perception and ensemble skills. This strategy asks students to collaborate and use soft focus and physical gestures to follow an assigned leader’s movements. It requires one participant to use observation and problem-solving strategies.
Invite the group to sit in a circle. Introduce the activity: In this game we will ask someone to be the ‘Investigator’ and they will leave the room. While they are gone, I will choose someone else to be the ‘Leader.’ The ‘Leader’ will do simple arm and body movements that everyone will follow. Then we will bring the ‘Investigator’ back into the room, they will stand in the center of the circle and they will have three guesses to figure out whom the ‘Leader’ is. Choose an ‘Investigator’ and have them leave the room. For the first round, select yourself as leader; this is a good way to model the game especially for younger players. Start the movements and keep up a consistent stream of motion, such as tapping the head, snapping fingers, waving arms, etc., changing occasionally while the rest of the group follows along. Invite the ‘Investigator’ back into the room. Remind students that whatever the Leader does, everyone in the circle must copy exactly, so that everyone is always doing the exact same thing. The ‘Investigator’ stands in the middle of the circle, observes the group, and makes three guesses to try to figure out who the ‘Leader’ is. Afterwards, a new ‘Investigator’ is selected to leave the room, and the game repeats with a new ‘Leader.’ Play continues until everyone has a turn in one of the roles.
- What strategies did you use to keep the Investigator from guessing the Leader?
- What strategies did you use as Leader to avoid being found out?
- How do we use these same strategies in other parts of our curriculum or in our current inquiry?
- How will you keep the Investigator from guessing the Leader?
- Remember we need to make sure we are all doing exactly the same thing so we can stump the Investigator.
- Investigator, give yourself time to look closely before you make a guess.
- Let’s avoid looking directly at the Leader. Can you use your peripheral vision (looking at someone else on the side of the Leader) to stay on track and follow the Leader?
- Have students create motions around a central theme or idea. For example, the Leader might generate motions that come from a specific story or from a specific location like the ocean.
- Reading/Writing: If the class is reading a book that involves investigation/mystery, have the Leader and Investigator take on specific roles from a novel.