Because of the set up this week, my schedule threw me for a curve and I decided, with some influence from the other teachers, that I would use this week to do some ice breaker activities and next week to really get in the swing of things. That said, I took an old favorite and pulled out the Simon’s Says card.
I spent some time tinkering around on Pinterest but nothing really struck me, so I figured – why not just do a Simon Says activity. I spent yesterday doing a team building activity (more on that later) and today I used Simon Says as a way to talk to students about listening and why it’s important to know what directions are given. Ice Breaker + Lesson? Excellent.
I of course, gave the students a large paper and some materials at their seats and it was very simple…if Simon says anything, you do it. If he doesn’t, you don’t. I, being Simon, of course. I had students use certain colors, certain materials, flip their paper upside down, use their non-dominant hand, try their eyes closed, required an attempt at drawing a 3D object, different types of lines. We were having a BLAST and I was getting a sense of what they did and didn’t know.
Disclaimer: If a student does an instruction without Simon’s say, they are not “out”. I don’t like that. Because then they aren’t creating anything at all. So instead of being out, students problem solve and communicate with their neighbor to figure out what direction they were suppose to be following and get back on track. Rather than whine, shout, or get upset in general, students have a chance to “correct their mistake” by getting back on track with the help of friends. Hello, PBIS for art!
My favorite moment was at the beginning of the activity when students started…I didn’t see any scribbles! Simon said to draw and they had these great pieces started with extensive imaginations active! This could EASILY become a sub lesson!