Activity 2: "Have You Ever . . .?" Game

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • The game, Have You Ever . . .?, works best with larger groups. A non-competitive option for four or fewer participants is the game, Twenty Questions. Or, try both games.
  • Review Leader Resource 1, "Have You Ever . . .?" Questions. Adapt or expand the list to suit your group.

Description of Activity

The game, Have You Ever . . .?, is an active, fun way to explore and celebrate the rich diversity of experiences that different people bring to any group. In addition, this game will demonstrate the value of questioning as a way to gain information, and help the children in the group get to know each other.

Gather the group in a circle. Explain that you will call out different experiences that may or may not apply to each person. Tell participants, "If the item does apply to you, run into the middle, jump in the air, and do a high five with anyone else who runs in."

Leader Resource 1, "Have You Ever . . .? Questions," lists about 20 items that you can adapt or expand for the group. Most items begin with "Have you ever . . .?, but feel free to ad lib, for example, "Does anyone have . . . ?"

Carefully choose items to prevent embarrassment or ridicule. Avoid mentioning experiences that could create a perception of "haves" and "have-nots" in the group.

If it suits your group, consider the "pile-up" version of this game. Anyone can ask a "Have you ever . . .?" question. Anyone who can answer "yes" to the question moves one space to the right and sits in that chair. Participants who cannot answer "yes" stay seated where they are. With each question, some participants may end up on others' laps. Do not use this version if you think anyone in the group may not be comfortable.

Twenty Questions
The game, Twenty Questions, works well with a smaller group. Invite one person to think of an object and not tell the other players what it is. The other players take turns asking a question which can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." The person who has the object in mind answers each question in turn. Sample questions could be "Is it in this room?" or "Is it bigger than a breadbox?" Lying is not allowed, as it would ruin the game. If a questioner guesses the object, that questioner wins and thinks of an object for others to guess in the next round. If twenty questions are asked without a correct guess, then the first player has stumped the questioners and gets to think of another object for another round.

Including All Participants

With a movement-challenged participant, prompt as needed to emphasize "Have you ever . . .?" questions that are not movement-related, such as "Have you ever accomplished something really difficult?" "Have you ever practiced something over and over?" "Have you ever written a letter to a newspaper?" You may like to add a rule that if a movement-challenged child answers "yes," other participants must gather around that child for the high fives.

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