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Activity time: 7 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Timepiece (seconds) or stopwatch
  • A sheet of paper and a pencil

Preparation for Activity

  • Find an open space large enough for all participants to run around, but with some boundaries that ensure safety.

Description of Activity

This activity demonstrates the power of going viral. In these words or your own, say:

The phrase "to go viral" has become commonplace in our society. YouTube videos and music sensations like Justin Bieber go viral when fans share with their friends, who share with their friends. Pretty soon everyone has seen it, in much the same way that a virus spreads through a school or town. We are going to compare the power of going viral with a single person's effort through playing two different kinds of tag.

Explain that for the first kind of tag, one person will try to tag each and every person in the room as they try to escape. Select a volunteer to be "it" and start the stopwatch, calling "time" at one minute (allow two minutes if the group is large and you have more time.) Make note of how many people have been tagged in that one minute. Then, with the same person as "it," change the rules: Now, any time a person is tagged, they then become a "virus" and can tag others. As with the first version, call "time" at one minute and count how many people have been tagged.

Repeat both games with a new person as "it," as time allows. Record the number of people tagged during each game.

Ask the group to reflect on the difference between the two versions of games with questions such as:

  • How much difference is there in the number of people are tagged when one person is doing all the work and the number tagged when each person who is tagged gets involved?
  • How do you think the power of "going viral" might make a difference if you were trying to change something in the world?

Including All Participants

Participants who have mobility limitations can serve as time-keepers and recorders.

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