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Dinamicas de Animacion (icebreakers)

One Voice

I got this from Kani Club, the improvisation school in Tokyo. It is a great "Yes, and..." game.

Pairs or trios (daunting to do in larger groups, but could be done with practiced players).

The idea is for the players to speak a sentence simultaneously without knowing what the sentence will be ahead of time, relating the sentence to some physical action or pantomime.

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Speed Dating

Simple, familiar, quick dialogue game.

Two rows of people facing each other, standing close enough to hear each other over the noise of others speaking. Joker chooses a theme and explains the rules -- both people should talk and listen, one minute, when time is up one line shifts one person to the left. (The last person on the row moves to the other end of their line.)

Often used for introductions. Can also be used for a check-in, or for rapid discussion after another activity.

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Beat the Jokers

Set up games such that the jokers are competing against the players. If the jokers win, the players have to do a task, like sing a song, or dance. If the players win, they choose the penalty.

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Me --> You (recognition game)

This is adapted from a game I learned at Kani Club -- the improv club I participate in from time to time. (http://kaniclub.com/) In Japanese, the game is "watashi -- anata".

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What's better than that?

This is a game in which the group builds an idea by accepting and adding to the previous idea (yes, and...).

The Flow:
In a circle, small or large group.

  • Joker asks the group to think of something good.
  • When a player has an idea, they start the play by naming their good thing -- e.g. "A cup of hot coffee."
  • Next player adds to it, to make it better -- "A cup of hot coffee on a cold morning."
  • Third player adds -- "A cup of hot coffee on a cold morning in the mountains."
  • And so on. Continue adding as long as the energy is good.
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Mistake Game

A fast-moving concentration game in which mistakes are celebrated. I learned this from Kaisu Tuominiemi, a coach at Mondragon Team Academy.

In a circle, five to maybe ten people.

Phase One

The joker starts the game by putting her left hand on her right shoulder and saying, "one!"

The person to her right repeats the motion, saying, "two!"

This continues four more times.

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Favorite/Least Favorite

A simple activity: ask each person to think of her/his favorite and least favorite [word, person, place, object, action, body part(?), letter, number...whatever] and share them with a partner, explaining her choice.

The sharing can be with just one person (quick), with several people in a round-robin format, with the whole group.

The sharing could be done in spoken or written form, could be drawn or pantomimed.

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One line drawing

I learned this from Minami Yoshitaka, Yasuhara Kouhei, and Yamazaki Ryouta in an English class they taught at Meiji University. In this game people compete to create collaborative drawings that illustrate some thing or idea. It could lead very nicely into discussion, especially if the theme is one of relevance to people's lives.

The flow:

  • Form teams of three or four people.
  • The joker chooses a theme, for example, "job hunting" or "Freedom Rides."
  • One player from each team lines up before the whiteboard in a row, waiting for the signal.
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Ten Second Objects

Adapted from "Ten Second Objects" on the Drama Resource website (http://dramaresource.com/games/warm-ups/ten-second-objects) The original activity is great as is:

"Divide everyone into small groups (4-6). Call out the name of an object and all the groups have to make the shape of that object out of their own bodies, joining together in different ways while you count down slowly from ten to zero. Usually every group will find a different way of forming the object. Examples could be: a car, a fried breakfast, a clock, a washing machine, a fire."

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Compare yourself

In this activity people use illustrations of others to introduce themselves through comparison and contrast. I have used images by Joe Sacco from Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco, but it would also be interesting to use images of historical figures (known or unknown), literary figures, objects (a cactus, a fish net, a wave), etc.

Hand out pictures randomly (or lay on table for self-access).

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