Spatial Requirements: Classroom with moderate space required
Activity Type: Group
Grades: 3-12
Group Size: 2 or more
Time: 10 minutes

Introduction: This activity relates visible changes with emotional changes. When students can identify the small changes in their own emotions, they learn to recognize their personal triggers, allowing them to make positive changes in how they react. This can mean turning negative emotions into fuel for motivation.


  • None


Divide your class into two teams. Have the teams stand in a line across from one another with about five feet between them. Choose one team to start as the observers and the other team to start as the team who will make changes. Give students on the observing team two minutes to carefully examine the members of the other team.

After the two minutes are through, have the observing team turn around with their backs facing the changing team. Direct the changing team to make ten changes that can be big or small. This may include moving a ring to another finger, un-tucking a shirt, removing a sock, etc. One person can make all the changes or the changes can be split among the team members, as long as the number of changes equals ten.

Have the teams face each other again. Allow the observing team to try and guess all of the changes that were made. Repeat the activity with the teams switching roles.

This game can be adapted for small groups by putting students into pairs. You can also limit the amount of changes for very young groups. 

Processing the Experience:

  • Was it easy to identify the big changes the other team made?
  • Was it difficult to identify the very small changes the other team made?
  • In life, is it sometimes difficult to identify the small changes in our emotions?
  • How do we usually respond or react when something bad happens? (yell, hit, run away, etc.)
  • What can we do to identify the small changes in our own emotions?
  • When we notice the negative emotions coming, what can we do to use our emotions as a positive fuel instead of a negative fuel?
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