Tapestry of Faith: Miracles: A Multigenerational Program on Living in Awe and Wonder

Activity 3: Miracle Charades

Part of Miracles

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint with definition(s) of a miracle generated by the group (Session 1)
  • Small slips of paper and pencils
  • Two baskets or other containers
  • Timepiece (seconds)

Preparation for Activity

  • Post newsprint for scoring.

Description of Activity

The purpose of this activity is to engage participants in the naming of miracles, and encourage them to think more widely about how they would describe a miracle.

Charades is a game of pantomimes. A participant will "act out" a phrase without speaking, while the other members of their team try to guess what the phrase is. The objective is for your team to guess the phrase as quickly as possible.

Select a timekeeper, or perhaps one of the facilitators to keep an eye on the time. Decide how much time a team will have to guess correctly.

Divide the players into two teams of equal size. Give each team pencils, slips of paper, and a container for the slips. Review the gestures used in Charades. Some gestures that may be helpful are:

  • Number of words in the phrase: Hold up the number of fingers.
  • Which word you're working on: Hold up the number of fingers again and point to the appropriate one.
  • Number of syllables in the word: Lay the number of fingers on your arm.
  • Which syllable you're working on: Lay the number of fingers on your arm again, then lift one finger to indicate the first syllable, or two fingers to indicate the second syllable, etc.
  • Length of word: Make a "little" or "big" sign as if you were measuring a fish. This can help players quickly guess words like “a,” “an,” “it,” and “the.”
  • "The entire concept:" Sweep your arms through the air.
  • "On the nose:" (i.e., someone has made a correct guess): Point at your nose with one hand, while pointing at the person with your other hand.
  • "Sounds like:" Cup one hand behind an ear.
  • "Longer version of:" Pretend to stretch a piece of elastic.
  • "Shorter version of:" Do a "karate chop" with your hand.
  • "Plural:" Link your little fingers to make a "plus" sign.
  • "Past tense:" Wave your hand over your shoulder toward your back.

To Play

Send teams to separate rooms with paper, pencils, and a bowl or basket. As each team to describe at least five miracles with a word or phrase that the other team will have one member act out for their teammates to guess. Each miracle must be written on a separate sheet of paper, and the papers folded closed and collected in the bowl.

Re-gather the large group.

Each round of the game proceeds as follows:

A player from Team A draws a phrase slip from Team B's container. After the player has had a short time to review the slip, the timekeeper for Team B notes the time and tells the player to start. Team A then has three minutes to guess the phrase. If they figure it out, the timekeeper records how long it took. If they do not figure it out in three minutes, the timekeeper announces that the time is up, and records a time of three minutes.

A player from Team B draws a folded paper from Team A's bowl, and play proceeds as above.

Continue until every player has had a chance to "act out" a miracle, time runs out, or interest wanes. The score for each team is the total time that the team needed for all of the rounds. The team with the lower score wins the game.

Including All Participants

If you have a large group, make more teams. Team A supplies miracles to Team B, Team B supplies Team C, and Team C supplies Team A.

If any participant is vision-impaired, omit this game or change the game dynamic by asking players to use words (instead of gestures) to describe the miracle they want teammates to guess, but without using key words or phrases. For example, a player trying to suggest “stars” cannot use “nighttime, sky, super, or light” to describe the miracle.