Facilitator Tip: Creative Brain Break Activities
Schools all over the world are gearing up for another year. We have facilitated multiple Teacher In-Service programs this month, giving staff the opportunity to get to know each other better while learning valuable tips for creating community in the classroom. We shared multiple ideas for great 'brain break' activities that allow the brain to re-engage after a long period of sitting or learning. Most types of movement can help awaken the brain and allow for another round of focusing on tasks.
Here are a few brain break ideas for you.
The Move Your Body Thumball: This ball is a perfect 'brain break' activity for the classroom. It's quick, easy and fun! Toss the ball to anyone in the class. When they catch the ball, have them look under their thumb and announce what is written there. The entire class will act out what is said. For example, if the command is "Kick a Goal and Cheer", the entire group charades kicking a goal and cheering out loud together. Then, after a few seconds of acting out the action, the ball gets tossed to a new student and the process is repeated. This is a great way to re-engage the brain after a difficult lesson, and allows for the 'wiggles' to get out as well!
Back to Back: This is a simple technique to do a lesson review on what the students just learned. Ask everyone to stand back-to-back with one other student (even numbers work best for this). While the participants are standing back-to-back give the group a discussion question (open-ending question) like, "Discuss one thing you learned about the lesson." or "What could you teach others about this subject?" Then you will say, "Front-to-front!" At this point each pair discusses the question given until they hear, "Back-to-back!". At this time, participants turn back-to-back with the person they were just talking to and wait for the next discussion question or instructions. (I learned this activity from Jim Cain. It is also in the book, The Empty Bag by Chris Cavert and Dick Hammond.)
Have fun out there,