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

Activity 2: Adverbs Game

Activity time: 10 minutes

Preparation for Activity

  • Identify a space where participants can sit in a circle and one person at a time can move out of sight and hearing range.
  • Arrange chairs, pillows or mats in a circle that leaves room inside the circle for movement.

Description of Activity

One of the most important skills for helping people, particularly people outside your community, is learning to listen. This game is a fun way to stretch our skills of paying attention when we might not know what is going on, and watching for the cues that others give us.

Have the group sit in a large circle. Choose one person to be "it," the person who will guess. Have the person who is "it" go out of hearing/seeing range of the group and wait while the group chooses an adverb to act out. Explain: An adverb is the kind of word that describes how an action is done, and adverbs usually end in "-LY," such as quickly, elegantly, brutally, sloppily, bravely, or carefully.

Have the person who is "it" return. Tell them they may request members of the group to perform certain actions in a way that expresses the adverb. For instance, the guesser might ask one person to walk across the circle, another to read aloud, another to pick up a piece of paper. Each person who is invited to act should perform the action in a way that expresses the adverb. The guesser attempts to identify the adverb based on the other's actions. You may wish to limit the game by setting 5-8 actions per adverb; then, have the group announce the word to the guesser, and choose a new person to be "it."

After the game, ask participants:

  • Was it more obvious how the actions expressed the chosen word when you knew the word, than when you were guessing?
  • Have you ever tried to explain something to another person, and they just couldn't get something that seemed obvious to you?
  • What do you think are helpful steps in communicating with someone whose perspective might be very different from yours?

Including All Participants

If any individuals might have a particularly difficult time guessing an adverb or performing actions to demonstrate an adverb, have children work in pairs.