This activity is best completed in person but can also be done through video conferencing. It provides a movement break while also promoting connections. You could complete it asynchronously by providing participants with a survey and creating a grid of the results, which would allow for a feeling of connection and to learn commonalities without the requirement to all be present at the same time. Obviously, a survey would not provide the same physical movement break.
Plan: Ask each participant to make a list of 3-5 characteristics about themselves. For instance, they have been wearing pajamas all day or they like to play piano. Either ask participants to send the lists along to you in advance or have them keep the lists handy to share from.
Do: Read aloud the listed characteristics one by one. Participants who share the characteristic or experience should stand up (and/or do a little dance) while those who do not share the experience should remain seated. You can modify the response to be a gesture instead of standing if there are mobility challenges.
Reflect: What did you learn about your peers during this activity? What similarities do you all share? What differences? What patterns did you notice?
Apply: How can the similarities you uncovered during this activity help you stay connected during this challenging time? What are the ways that your differences can help you work together?
Extend: Consider using this activity to assess understanding of material with true or false or other dichotomous answers. Alternatively, you could select a variety of movement responses and have participants respond by gesturing. Using non-verbal responses will allow multiple participants to respond at once which is a challenge using verbal responses in a video conferencing format.
Asynchronous modification: Ask participants to send along 3-5 true characteristics or qualities, collate responses anonymously or include names, and share them back with participants. You could also consider extending the activity by asking students to post the responses in a common location and put together the summaries graphically or in writing. The key to the activity is helping the participants see some of the similarities so they feel connection. Additionally, it is valuable to discuss how differences can be helpful in navigating challenging terrain.
Some possible prompts:
Stand up if…
You have visited 3 or more states.
You hate chocolate.
You have been wearing your pajamas since yesterday.
You have made a YouTube video.
You have more than 3 pets.
You like sushi.
You are sick of being at home.
You really like learning/working remotely.
You have eaten cereal for dinner.
You have read a whole book in one day.
You are afraid of spiders.
You like fly fishing.
You are afraid of heights.