Engaging Games

Play these games as a whole group to help you and your trainees get to know each other, cooperate, and build empathy and connection.

From: Online Games to Get Your Class Engaged & Connected. Developed by Jason Jacobs & Laurine Towler - https://www.morningsidecenter.org/teachable-moment/lessons/online-games-get-your-class-engaged-connected

Activity 1 - CONNECT ME

Objective: This is a fun writing activity that can promote empathy and connection.

Steps

  1. This game should ideally be played with all cameras ON, although adjustments can be made if necessary.

  2. In the chat box, the facilitator will type in a word or a phrase, one at a time. Examples: strawberry, New York, sky, ball ,one year.

  3. Participants have 1-2 minutes to write something about themselves associated with the word or phrase - or something they associate with the word or phrase.

  4. Facilitator types a speaking order in the chat box and sets a timer for 2 minutes.

  5. Sentences are shared.

  6. The facilitator enters the next word or phrase in the chat box.

  7. After one round or more, there can be a brief reflection before going on to the next word.

Reflection

Invite students to share:

  • What was this activity like for you?

  • Did you discover anything?

  • How did this activity make you feel?

  • What did you learn about other people today?

Tips

  • Depending upon the groups’ level of maturity, a participant could suggest a word and send it to the facilitator via the chat box.

  • Depending on the group’s median age, words (like justice, hope, safety, etc.) can be more evocative and challenging, and touch off deeper conversation.

Activity 2- MOVE TOGETHER

Objective: This embodied, team-building activity builds visual focus and concentration, and invites non-verbal connection.

Steps

  1. This is a physical game that requires participants be on camera.

  2. Explain that you will start a movement, and everyone should try to follow you and move together.

  3. Keep the initial moment simple and slow, and encourage participants to work together nonverbally. Focus on the movement we all see on the screen, and remind the group your goal is for everyone to move together.

  4. As the group gets more practice with moving on screen together, ask another participant to take over as the “Leader.” You can rotate the “Leader” role so everyone has a chance to lead the group through movement.

Reflection

Invite students to share:

  • How is moving together on-screen different than moving in real space?

  • How is moving on-screen different than talking on-screen?

  • What skills are we building as a team when we move together nonverbally?

Tips

  • On Zoom video settings, there is a box called “Mirror My Video.” For this game, it’s recommended that everyone turn this feature off, so that everyone works with the same screen orientation.

  • Advanced challenge: If the group likes movement and finds this to be easy, challenge everyone to move together without any single leader.