Activity time: 10 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- Make sure you have an open space large enough for the group to sit in a circle in chairs or on the floor.
- Learn the rules of the game so you can easily and smoothly explain it to the group.
Description of Activity
Craig Keilburger is just one example of a wide variety of people who have inspired others through their leadership. This game is a fun way for participants to try leading and following, and to see how easy or difficult it is to identify leaders.
Invite the group to sit in a circle to play a seated version of Follow the Leader. Explain that one person will be the leader, and that the rest of the group will imitate them repeating the actions of the leader. Another person will be the guesser; they will leave the room (or close their eyes), while the leader is chosen. The leader begins actions for the others in the circle to follow, and the guesser returns (or opens their eyes) and tries to determine who in the group is the leader.
Tell the group:
In order to hide the leader from the guesser, the leader will need to change their actions while they think the guesser is looking at someone else, and the group will need to be as prompt as possible in following the leader.
Once the guesser has correctly identified the leader, choose a new guesser and repeat the game until everyone has had a turn at the various roles. In choosing leaders, consider that this game can provide a safe way for some children to try a leadership role who do not ordinarily seek one.
Play a few rounds of the game. Leave time to ask children to reflect on their experience:
- What role was most difficult: leading, following, or guessing?
- Which role was the most fun?
- Was it easy or hard to tell who was a leader and who was a follower? Why?
- When you see a group of kids interacting on the playground, can you usually tell who is leading and who is following? How do you know?
- Have you seen the leaders in groups of kids use their leadership in good ways? How about hurtful ways? Why do you think other kids follow?
If the mood of the group seems suitable, you might invite participants to take a moment to silently consider these questions:
- Do you think of yourself as a leader, a follower, both, or neither?
- Do you take different roles in different situations? Why do you think that is?
Including All Participants
If a child in your group cannot see well enough to follow the actions of a leader or observe clues as to who the leader might be, ask all leaders to use actions that make noise, such as clapping their hands, stomping their feet, clicking their tongue. This might be a fun way for any group to play the game if identifying the leader turns out to be too easy.