Warm-Up of the Week: 21

I played this game this week after not having played it for awhile. I’d forgotten how much I love it.

  1. Student’s create a circle.
  2. Place an object in the middle of the circle for the student’s to focus on. They must spend the entire game looking at the object.
  3. The aim of the game is to count to 21 (1 through to 21 in that order). However who says what number does not follow the consecutive order of the circle. E.g. person one might say “one”, but then person six in the circle might say “two” and so forth. Numbers are being called from different parts of the circle.
  4. If two people say the next number in the sequence together in unison then the count must start again from one.

Some tips: I always like to allocate the teacher as the person who always starts and restarts the count. It keeps the kids focused and moving towards trying to reach the goal of 21. If they are struggling to get past a certain number make the number goal smaller. This week my student’s could only get to 10 and at one point 15. Come back to the game at a later time in the term and see if they can beat their score.


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/).

Warm-Up of the Week: Laser Beams

I’m starting a new section to the website this week. It came to me in a dream (seriously) after looking and thinking about my visitor traffic and the things they had been searching for on my blog. I’m thrilled to have readers and whilst I would like to continue to post about the things in Drama that I’m passionate about, I’d like to think I can help you all out too with things that you need. That’s why we’re a network. We’re a network that’s here to support each other.

On our homepage you’ll find a new page with a list of some of the warm up games I like to use in my classes. I’ll always put them up as a blog post as well which you can search for using the tags (“warm up games”) or categories (“Teaching and Learning in the Drama Room”). I will provide instructions on how to play the games and hopefully you can take them away and use them to your hearts content.

This week’s game is called:

Laser Beams

Time: approx 10 minutes.

How to Play:

1. Have your students form pairs. One person needs to wait outside the room. If there aren’t enough students to form pairs you, as the teacher may need to play.

2. Each pair needs to stand opposite each other. They can spread out around the space. They can also be at varying heights. The one thing that is most important is that they must maintain eye contact with each other and remain facing each other. This becomes the laser beam.

3. Place an object somewhere in the room that is surrounded by the “laser beams.”

4. The student who is outside the room enters and needs to work through the obstacle course to try to get to the beam. They need to strategise and think about which is the best possible way to get to the object without crossing a beam.

5. If the student crosses a beam the student pair, whose beam has been crossed must say “Buzz!”

6. The student mustn’t cross a beam more than three times or they are out.


This is a fantastic game for student focus, concentration and getting comfortable with using eye contact. Many students are very uncomfortable with looking anyone in the eye in a performance and this is a way to get them to become aware of its power.

For the student who is strategising to get to the obstacle, it is a fantastic way for them to use their body to move around a space. Discuss with the students how something like this could be transformed into performance. Discuss which elements of drama are being used. Discuss with the students what they learnt from the game and how their approach to the game may have changed after they played it a few times. It’s interesting to note how the students who are the “beams” really discuss and strategise together as to how to make it difficult for the person trying to get the object.

Was this suggestion helpful? What was your experience like in the classroom?

I’ve done my best to acknowledge sources where I can but some of these games I’ve just learnt from my teachers over the years and they never really told me who or where they came from. If you recognise one of these games as being your creation, please let me know and I will kindly acknowledge it.

Image Credits:

Untitled, karlao, @Mirazozo Architects of Air, Sydney Opera House, January 2011.