Friday Lesson: Are You More Like… ?

Courtesy of Chris Cavert |

Are you more like typing or writing?  Are you more like reading or listening? A facilitator could use these choices with a group to show commonalities between group members; a way to get people to know each other a little better. They could also ask additional questions about a choice that the participants have made.  In addition, the choices made by the participants can be used by the facilitator to split the group and direct them to a new activity.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you here is, I can only offer suggestions and ideas from my experiences with groups.  This activity, like many others, requires but is not limited to your creativity.  Take it in whatever direction it goes.  Have fun with them.  That’s the only reason I do this stuff.

Are You More Like…?

Possible Objectives: Icebreaker, Decision Making, Accepting Diversity, Listening, Compromising…

Needs: You will need a line on the floor for this one—circular or straight.  You could use masking tape or an activity rope of some sort if you have one.

Procedure: Clear the center of the room as much as possible (you will find as you read on that I like to “clear the center of the room” a lot—gets the oxygen moving).  If the straight line is easiest for you, just place some masking tape down the center of the floor.  I’ll use the circle formation here in my description.

Ask your students to stand around the outside of the circle.  You will ask them to decide on one of two choices from each question you are going to ask.  If they are more like the first choice, step into the circle.  If they are more like the second choice, stay to the outside of the circle.  Leave a little time between each question to give the students a chance to see who is standing with them.  I will play this one too, just stepping in and out as I read.

That’s the simple gist.  I like to use this activity as my introduction to the process of active learning—getting up and moving around.  I keep it simple the first time with just a little processing after.  Down the road I can use this activity again to bring out more personal perspectives on the questions.

Note: I have a great deal of fun with this activity.  I try to encourage my students to think more about the characteristics of the choices.  I will often hear, “But I don’t like either.”  You might help them a bit by describing some of the characteristics of the items.  This might help them “get out of the box” so to speak.

The list below is not in any sort of order.  You can pick and choose the questions that will serve your purpose at the time.  You might want to add questions of your own.

Are You More Like…

  • chocolate or strawberries?
  • a carpet or a wood floor?
  • a hard cover or paperback book?
  • skim milk or 2%?
  • a chair or a couch?
  • apples or oranges?
  • pants or shorts?
  • a bath or a shower?
  • jeans or khakis?
  • glass or plastic?
  • a bunk bed or a twin bed?
  • a bus or a plane?
  • a bracelet or a necklace?
  • solids or stripes?
  • sandals or shoes?
  • shade or sun?
  • cursive or printing?
  • buttered or plain popcorn?
  • potato chips or pretzels?
  • a run or a walk?
  • soda or water?
  • panic or relaxed?
  • gel or paste?
  • a weekday or a weekend?
  • Chic Filet® or McDonalds®?
  • long hair or short hair?
  • fact or fiction?
  • Air mail or E-mail?
  • peanut or plain?
  • a cat or a dog?
  • salted or unsalted?
  • the escalator or the stairs?
  • a chocolate or oatmeal cookie?
  • Cheerios® or corn flakes?
  • math or art?
  • country or rock music?
  • the ocean or a river?
  • a pen or a pencil?
  • fish or steak?
  • a desk top or lap top computer?
  • 7UP® or Sprite®?
  • diet or regular?
  • pasta or rice?
  • cheese or pepperoni?
  • hamburgers or hot dogs?
  • an amusement park or a water park?
  • Army or Navy?
  • fruit or vegetable?
  • television or radio?
  • a CD or a cassette?

Observations/Questions:

•            Who can think of another pair to choose from?

•            Did anyone have trouble deciding?  Why?

•            How many of you might have made a choice based on what one of your friend decided?

•            Did anyone not want to step into the center even if you were more like the first choice?  Why?

•            Was there ever just one person in the center? …on the outside?  What was that like?

•            Is it hard to make choices sometimes?  What makes it difficult?

•            What sorts of choices might we be making in our classroom?

•            Will we all make the same choices?  Why not?

•            What might be some negative aspects of being different?

•            What are some skills we might need to practice to work through our differences in this class?

•            What might be some positive aspects of being willing to be different?

Variations:

•            If you want to add a choice for undecideds or the “would rather hear finger nails dragged across the chalkboard than pick one of the two,” then have these students put one foot in the circle and leave one foot outside the circle.  Do the same students “sit on the fence”?  Why?

This lesson is compliments of Chris Cavert, from his book with Laurie Frank “Games for Teachers: Classroom Activities That Promote Pro-Social Learning“.

To find more information and to contact the author, please visit: www.fundoing.com

Join us every week in November for Friday Lessons with Chris Cavert. Chris has written twelve books including Affordable Portables, Games for Group, Books 1 & 2, Games for Teachers, and If Anybody Asks Me.

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