Tapestry of Faith: Toolbox of Faith: A Program That Helps Children Discover the Uses of Faith

Activity 2: Cloak And Dagger Game

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Index cards for all participants
  • Optional: One or more sets of the board game, Apples to Apples (five players per set)

Preparation for Activity

  • The game, Cloak and Dagger, works best with eight to 15 players. Decide whether the group will play together or play in smaller groups.
  • Optional: To include the game, Apples to Apples, in this activity, make arrangements to purchase/borrow the commercially available board game. While game participants don't actually vote, there is a component of hilarious influencing and judging that make a nice segue into the democratic process. If you do not know the game, view a demo of Apples to Apples online.

Description of Activity

Use games to introduce a variety of ways that groups can make decisions.

The game Cloak and Dagger is a popular game played in many Unitarian Universalist youth groups. This game is also played in Session 14 of Toolbox of Faith, where justice is the theme. Participants will enjoy revisiting it in a later session, having learned it here.

The leader of this game orchestrates and does not participate. The leader writes an identity on an index card for each member of the group. Two of the cards should say "Spy," one should say "Informant," and the rest should say "Civilian."

Invite the group to sit in a circle. The leader distributes cards, instructing everyone to read in secret.

Then the leader says, "It is nighttime, everyone go to sleep." Everyone closes their eyes. The leader says, "Spies, wake up." Those with "Spy" written on their cards open their eyes. They must agree, without speaking, to kill one of the civilians. They point to this person, and the leader makes a mental note. Then the leader says, "Spies go to sleep. Informant, wake up." The two Spies close their eyes, and the one who has "Informant" written on their card opens their eyes. The Informant selects one person to know more about, by pointing. If that person is a Spy, the leader nods, if a Civilian, the leader shakes their head "no."

Then the leader says, "It is daytime, everybody wake up." Everyone opens their eyes and the leader tells them who was killed by the Spies while they were asleep. Then the entire group comes to consensus on who they think is a Spy - who they should kill - by pointing to that person. The true Spies should try to hide their identities by engaging in the debate. The Informant should try to use their information to protect Civilians and kill Spies, but without revealing their identity as the Informant (or risking their own life for the next night of Spy prowling).

Every person who comes under suspicion has a chance to defend their civilian status. When the group decides and kills, the leader informs them whether the person they killed was a Spy or a Civilian. Round two begins by the leader saying, "It's nighttime . . ." Continue until all Civilians are dead or Spy members are found out and killed.