Zip Zap Zop
Context for this Strategy
Zip, Zap, Zop is about focus and energy. As students pass the energy across the circle (in the form of a Zip, a Zap, or a Zop), they make eye contact with the person they send the energy to, and work together to keep the rhythm going. The activity also provides an opportunity to explore pace, specificity of choice, “energy” and sequence.
Invite students to stand in a circle. Ask the group to repeat the words “Zip, Zap, Zop” three or four times, all together. Introduce the activity: Imagine that I have a bolt of energy in my hands. To start the game, I will send the bolt out of energy out of my body with a strong forward motion straight to someone else in the circle (use hands, body, eyes, and voice to make contact across the circle) and say, “Zip.” Explain that the next person takes the energy and passes it immediately to someone else saying “Zap.” That person passes it on to another participant with a “Zop.” The game continues and the “Zip, Zap, Zop” sequence is repeated as the energy moves around the circle. Encourage all plays to use their whole body to send energy and to make eye contact. They can send the energy to whomever they want but the goal is to include all players. Practice the game. If there is a mistake, encourage students to simply resume playing without discussion. The group challenge is to go very quickly and stay consistent in rhythm; if students struggle, pause the game, discuss strategy and try again.
- On a scale of 1-10, how successful were we at this strategy?
- What strategies did you use to be successful?
- What did you notice about our group dynamic? How did it change?
- How did you use your whole body to help with clear communication? How might we apply these ideas to our larger inquiry or work together?
- Don’t forget to make eye contact with the person you pass the bolt of energy to.
- Work to stay focused. There should be no pauses. Try to maintain a steady rhythm.
- The bolt of energy should never hit the ground.
- Try “Zip Zap Boing.” In this variation, a player can choose to raise both hands in front of their bodies at chest height and say: “Boing” when they are sent a Zip, Zap or Zop. When this happens, the move bounces back to whomever passed it. Thus the progression might sound like “Zip-Zap-Boing-Zap-Zop-Zip-Boing-Zip” etc.
- Math: Use this strategy to practice skip counting (3, 6, 9, 12…)
- Science: Use this strategy to explore organisms in a food chain (or stages in a life cycle); students send energy from organism to organism in the food chain to represent a mini ecosystem.
- Reading/Writing: Use this strategy to review helping verbs (am, is, are, was, were, be, been…)