Warm-Up of the Week: Knots

This week’s warm-up is a quick little 10 minute game that develops communication skills and team-building. It doesn’t just have to be used in the drama classroom. It can be used during conferences and other team-building situations to get people out of their seats and interacting with others. Enjoy!

1. If you have a large group, split them into two smaller groups and have them make a circle facing inward. They also need to be shoulder to shoulder.

2. Have everyone place their arms outstretched into the centre of the circle.

3. Each person must then grab the hand of two different people. This will create a big looking mess of arms and hands in the centre of the circle.

4. The aim of the exercise is to now try to untangle the knot without letting go of any hands.

5. Once the group has succeeded (and this may take some time), try it again but this time without any speaking at all.

At the end of the exercise, discuss the differences between the first situation where you were allowed to communicate and the second situation where you were not.

It is a really interesting exercise to see how people react to problems and who steps up and leads when needing to deal with them.

Image Credits:

Sometimes Life Can Tie You in Knots!  (http://www.flickr.com/photos/8525214@N06/5529991482/) / Tony Hammond (http://www.flickr.com/photos/8525214@N06/) / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/ (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/).



  1. I’ve also played this as Dr. Tangle, where one student stays out of the circle as the ‘doctor’ and it’s their job to instruct people how to move to untangle themselves (for example, “Steve, you put your arm over Joe’s head” etc.).

  2. Pingback: 5 Quick Ways to Get Your Drama Class Off to a Great Start | Drama Teacher's Network

  3. Pingback: Knots | Applied Theatre Portfolio

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