Spatial Requirements: Classroom with moderate space required
Activity Type: Movement/group
Group Size: 6 or more
Time: 15 minutes
This energizing group activity will help students to identify many of the challenges and stressors they face throughout their day, and it will help them to feel comfortable with making occasional mistakes. They will recognize when it is appropriate to be forgiving of their own mistakes and the mistakes of others as it relates to Street Resilience.
- 8-10 objects that are easy to throw and catch, such as different sizes of balls, balloons, etc.
- 8-10 pieces of masking tape (one for each object)
- 1 marker
Invite everyone to stand in a circle. Take one of the objects – preferably one that is very easy to throw and catch – and explain that you are going to throw it to someone in the circle. When that person catches it, they will throw it to someone else in the circle who has not caught it yet. Students should continue to throw and catch until every person in the circle has caught and thrown the object and it is returned to you. Have students remember who they are throwing the object to so that the pattern can continue in the next round. Ask the group if this portion of the activity was easy or hard. Most likely students will say that it was easy.
Ask students, “What is something in life that you have to juggle or deal with each day?” (For example, school, family commitments, clubs, homework, relationships, chores, friends, sports, after-school job, etc.) Write responses on the pieces of masking tape, then put a piece of masking tape on each object.
Throw the first object into the circle again and have students repeat the throwing pattern from the first round. After the first object has been thrown in, throw the second object, then the third, until all the objects are being tossed around the circle. This activity will typically become more and more stressful and objects will often be dropped.
After a few minutes of “juggling,” stop the activity and ask if Round 2 was easy or hard.
Before Round 3, have students come up with some strategies to make the next round more successful. Start the juggle again and observe any improvements made from the first round. You may want to allow for an additional round or two so students can continue to improve.
Processing the Experience:
- What strategies did you use to improve in this activity?
- What happened during the activity when someone dropped the ball? How did the “ball dropper” generally react? How did the rest of you react?
- In life, is it OK to make mistakes? Why or why not?
- Can mistakes always be avoided in every aspect of life?
- What’s a good way to respond when we make a mistake?
- What else can this activity teach us about Street Resilience?
- What can we learn from this activity that can help us feel less anxious if we are overwhelmed or stressed with all the things we have to “juggle” in life?