Tapestry of Faith: Windows and Mirrors: A Program about Diversity for Grades 4-5

Activity 4: Game - Let's Talk and Listen

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Slips of paper from Activity 1, Create Your Own Language and Gesture
  • Leader Resource 1, Friends Phrases

Preparation for Activity

  • Children need to have heard both stories, " Tower of Babel " and "The Day of Pentecost."
  • Make sure you have an intact copy of the leader resource.

Description of Activity

Give children a moment to find their slip of paper from Activity 1. Ask them to remember how to say their phrase in their invented language and the gesture they created to go with it.

Gather the children in a circle. Tell them:

We are going to experience something like the Tower of Babel and Pentecost stories you have just heard. You will have a chance to try and communicate your phrase to the rest of us. You may repeat your phrase and gesture as much as you like in order to be understood, but do not translate into English.

Now invite the children to speak the phrases they created in their new languages, all at the same time. Allow them to attempt to communicate to the group this way for a minute or so. Then stop them and say:

Let's talk for a minute in English, without giving away our secret phrases just yet. How did that go? Has anyone understood anyone else?

Allow some comments. If anyone thinks they know another person's phrase, ask them what they think it is and why they think so-but do not reveal the correct phrase.

Now form pairs or triplets. Ask the children to take turns talking and gesturing to communicate their phrase to their partner(s). Give enough time for all partners to try communicating their phrase.

Re-gather the group and ask if being in a smaller group brought anyone closer to understanding another person's phrase (but don't reveal the phrases yet).

Now tell them you will give them a clue. Read aloud all six phrases from Leader Resource 1. Explain that everyone in the group is trying to communicate one of these. Invite a few volunteers to demonstrate their phrase and gesture for the whole group, one at a time, and see if participants are better able to guess. To conclude the game, ask each participant to share their gesture and the English version of their phrase.

Debrief the game with the children; ask what was surprising, fun, or challenging.