Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Sing to the Power: A Social Justice Program for Children Grades 4-5

Activity 3: Rocks vs. Water Game

Activity time: 7 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Pillows or mats (such as carpet samples), enough for half the group
  • Masking tape or painter's tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the Description of Activity. Then, clear a space that has room for the "Water" players to maneuver across past the "Rock" players but which is small enough for the "Rock" players to make this challenging. Use tape to mark boundaries of the playing area.

Description of Activity

The game, Rocks vs. Water, invites participants to physically explore the concept of water power. "Water" players must use flexibility, creativity, and persistence to overcome obstacles as they try to cross the room, past the "Rock" players, without being tagged by a Rock.

Form two groups and have the Water players line up on one side of the playing area. Place pillows or mats for the Rock players, across the playing area with no more than 8 feet in between. Instruct the Rock players to sit on a pillow or mat. Tell them they may move their limbs to tag a Water player, but they may not get up from their location. Invite the Water players to try to cross the room without being tagged.

As you play the game, adjust the number of Rock players or the distance between them to create a situation in which it is challenging but not impossible for Water players to get past. When all Water players have managed to get past the Rocks, reverse roles.

After the game, reflect on the experience with questions such as:

  • Did anyone come up with a surprising way of getting past the Rocks?
  • Did Water players work together to increase their odds of success?
  • What if the odds were stacked against the Water, with the Rocks close enough to each other that their fingertips touched? Would there still be a way, given enough time, for some Water players to reach the other side?

Including All Participants

When you form groups, make sure you assign children with limited mobility to play the game as Rocks.