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 hazards.
Description of Activity
This activity allows movement and invites children to consider what it takes to lead or to follow someone else 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 people to freedom was that they trusted her and listened to her. Today we will learn how it feels to trust someone else and how it feels for someone else to trust you.
Explain that children will move around the open space 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." Ask what children will expect from a trustworthy leader when they are following. Affirm that leaders should move gently, carefully, safely. Tell children if they are not being trustworthy leaders, 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 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 you add a 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.