Spatial Requirements: Classroom with moderate space required
Activity Type: Movement/group
Grades: 2-12
Group Size: 10 or more
Time: 15-20 minutes

Introduction: This activity will enable students to get untangled (out of the flood zone) using positive self-talk, character and heart, passion/purpose, and support systems as motivation to accomplish the task.


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Have everyone hold their right hand out in front of them, then stand in a circle facing the center.  The group members then walk forward, forming a tight circle with their right hands still facing forward.  Ask one person in the group to grab the right hand of another person across from them with their left hand.

Continue clockwise, with the next person doing the same until everyone is holding hands.  Make sure that no one is holding both hands of the same person. 

Once everyone is connected, ask the group to untangle themselves without letting go of each other’s hands.  Give them a few minutes to plan, then let them begin.  As they get untangled, they should end up standing in a circle.  Make sure they know that while they can loosen their grip and rotate their hands to stay comfortable, they are not to let go of each other’s hands.

Note: Before they untangle, determine if they are connected in one big circle or several small ones by asking one person to lift the hand of another person, who lifts the hand of the next person, and so forth, until it goes through the entire group and comes back to the person that started the process.  If you have several circles, reconnect the hands until you have one large circle.

Variation: For a bigger group or to make this activity less physical, have each person hold onto a string or rope. Have participants grab each other’s ropes rather than each other’s hands.

Processing the Experience:

  • What was the biggest challenge of this activity?
  • Did anything frustrate you in this activity?
  • What motivated you to get untangled?
  • Why didn’t you give up?
  • How did you solve the problem?
  • What resources did you use?
  • What might the tangle represent in a person’s life?
  • What might getting untangled represent?
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