Energizers are get up and move activities that can take 60 seconds, or longer, to do. They are a quick way of getting the blood from the butt back up to the brain. Energizers can also be a community building activity. Students need them, particularly if they have been sitting through a sit-and-get instructional period. It doesn't matter the age group, we all need a stand and stretch moment. Think about it. Have you ever been in a class where you have been unable to maintain your attention on the instuctor because you just need to move around? As gifted and exciting as we are as teachers, believe me, your students have tuned you out as well during instruction. So, get them up and moving. You'll get more out of them when they return to their seats.
Here are a few examples of quick energizers:
1. "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean": Everyone begins by being seated. Then begin singing the song. Everytime a "b" word is said either stand or sit. So, for the first "b" word, (Bonnie), everyone stands. Then for the second "b" word, again Bonnie, everyone sits. Continue with this pattern. If it has been done correctly, everyone will end up seated.
2. Simon Says: I know you all know this one. However, let me offer this simpler version--only do head, shoulder, waist, and knees. Also, no one is ever out. Just smile and keep going. This way keeps everyone engaged and no one is sitting out, and possibly being disruptive.
3. Simply stand and stretch.
4. Zip, Zap, Zop: Stand in a circle. One person has a nerf ball or beach ball. They make eye contact with someone across the circle and says "Zip" and throws the ball at that person. That person makes eye contact with someone else across the circle, says "Zap" and throws the ball at that person. Then that person makes eye contact across the circle, says "Zop" and throws the ball at that person. Then it all begins again. The pace can be quite fast. They cannot throw it at a person beside them. They have to throw the ball across the circle.
5. Catch Me If You Can: Players should be paired up. All players divide into two lines (facing in) shoulder to shoulder, with partners facing each other. Participants should be given approximately 30 seconds to look at their partners, taking in all details about the individual. The leader then instructs the two lines to turn and face away from the center. One or both lines has 15-20 seconds to change something about their appearance (i.e. change a watch to different wrist, unbutton a button, remove a belt, etc.). The change must be discrete, but visible to the partner. The players again turn in to face each other and have 30 seconds to discover the physical changes that have been made. Players get to interact with each other and have fun!
6. Sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" with actions.
7. Left-Right Alphabet: Write the alphabet on large chart paper. Underneath each letter of the alphabet, put an L or R.
A B C D E F G H ...
L L R L R R R L...
Do a random sequence of L's and R's. Students stand and sing the alphabet and, as they do so, they raise either the left arm or right arm depending on the letter. This is great fun, as well as challenging.
8. Think-Pair-Share: When sharing students must stand, make eye contact with someone across the room, walk to them, then share.
I hope you will experiment with at least one energizer. If you have one that you really like, please share it with all of us.
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This will be my last blog until January 2nd.
I wish you all a healthy, safe and relaxing December break.