Context for this Strategy
Players stand in a circle with the leader in the center. The leader points to a player and calls out a figure. That player, plus the two players on either side of him or her, rushes to make the shape of that figure before the leader counts three. For example, if the leader calls “Elephant one-two-three,” the player pointed to makes a long trunk with one arm, while the people on either side each form an ear in a “C” shape. If any of the three people fail to get into position by the time the leader counts to three, that player switches places with the leader and calls the next shape. Besides shapes, the center player can also point to a player and call “Donkey one‐two‐three”, which simply means to freeze in place. If the player pointed to moves when “Donkey” is called, they switch places with the center player.
Possible shapes include:
Palm Tree: The center player throws their arms up in the air and sways back and forth while the players on either side turn inwards and repeat that same motion.
Toaster: The player pointed to jumps up and down in place (the bread), while other players hold hands across his/her front and back to make the toaster.
Elephant: The player pointed to makes a long trunk with one arm, while other players form ears in a “C” shape on either side.
Bippity, Bippity, Bop: When the caller says “Bippity, bippity bop” the player pointed to must say “Bop” before the caller does. If caller just says “Bop” the player must say nothing.
When Creating New Shapes:
- What do we remember/know about _____________?
- So what would you say are the three most important things to know or will help us to remember that vocabulary word?
- How could we use our bodies to represent those qualities?
"How can you engage your entire body in creating your part of the shape?"
"How can you show me that your ready to play?"
Create Your Own Shapes: Use vocabulary from the curriculum and have the students create a three person shape to represent the vocabulary word. Once students create the three person image, be sure to carefully reflect on each image. Follow the questioning line Describe (What do you see?) Analyze (What could that mean?) Relate (How does this image relate to the vocabulary word or big idea?)
To make the game less difficult, the leader can count to 5 (or however high seems appropriate) instead of 3.
Rohd, Michael. Theatre for Community, Conflict & Dialogue: The Hope Is Vital Training Manual. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1998. Print.