Step Over the Line: A Team Building Exercise
At any point during the school year you may decide to work on building your classroom community. One way to discuss common interest, common struggles (depending on your age group and how deep you want to go), you can play the game: Step Over the Line. What this involves is everyone lining up side by side and standing behind a taped line (this can be any color tape, I usually use green to symbolize the idea of "going forward" as a group). You start off by making simple statements like, "You like to be surrounded by people who care about you. You look forward to seeing you friends in school." Whoever this applies to, steps over the line. Students begin to see common interests and also learn thoughts and feelings of their classmates. This can be used as an icebreaker for sensitive issues like bullying, low self-esteem, etc. All it takes is for one brave soul to be the first to "step over the line" and then you will be surprised at how many students will be willing to share. This is a great conversation starter when dealing with tough issues in the classroom. I use it when we begin exploring different topics for our service learning project at the start of the year. You should try it!