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Alternate Activity 4: Trust Walk
Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Scarves to cover eyes - one for every two children
Preparation for Activity
- Find a spacious, open area without obstacles or other walking hazards.
Description of Activity
This activity highlights the importance of trust in building community and invites children to consider what it means to follow a leader in a potentially dangerous situation. Use this activity immediately after telling the story "Harriet's Freedom Journeys" (Activity 3).
Gather in a seated circle. Say, in your own words:
Escaping from slavery was very dangerous. One reason Harriet Tubman was able to lead more than 300 slaves to freedom was that they trusted her and listened to her. Today we will practice trusting each other by going on a trust walk.
Explain that children will walk with a partner. The follower will have their eyes closed or covered, and the leader will guide the follower; then they will switch roles. Emphasize the importance of being trustworthy when leading a partner. Ask what it means to be "worthy of trust." Affirm that leaders should walk gently, carefully, safely. Tell children if they are not being trustworthy they will be removed from the activity and another child or an adult will take their place. Monitor this activity closely. It is very important that this trust-building activity not actually decrease trust.
Form pairs and give each pair a scarf. Have each child take a turn wearing the scarf to cover their eyes while holding hands with their partner, who will lead them around your trust walk area. After five minutes, instruct the children to switch roles.
When each child has had a turn to be both a leader and a follower, gather in a seated circle and discuss:
- How did it feel to be led by a partner?
- How did it feel to lead your partner?
- Was it easier to lead or to be led? Why?
- Why is it important to be able to trust the person leading you?
- When you are the leader, how can you behave so that the person you are leading feels safe and cared for?
Including All Participants
If the group includes a child who is blind, add the rule that partners may not talk during the trust walk. A blind child will experience the challenges of leading and being led without sound cues.