September 17

Energizers and Performing Arts Games


Shake it off

This is a really simple and effective energizer.

You could alternate between shouting out the numbers in Mandarin and shouting them out in English.

Right arm: “8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
Left arm: “8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
Right leg: “8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
Left leg: “8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
Right arm: “7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
Left arm: “7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
Right leg: “7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
Left leg: “7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
Right arm: “6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
…etc. until….
Right arm: “1!”
Left arm: “1!”
Right leg: “1!”
Left leg: “1!”

Duck chant

1. Say the following in unison to start with focusing on saying it ‘in unison’.

1 duck, 2 legs, quack

2 ducks, 4 legs quack, quack

3 ducks, 6 legs, quack, quack, quack

2. Then go around the circle and each student says a word of it at a time. Focus on ‘voice projection’.

3. Go around the circle again and focus on increasing up the ‘tempo’ (speed).

Fire, hunters, hurricane game

How to play:

  1.  Clear a large space for the playing area.
  2.  Divide the class into small groups; three players to a group.
  3.  Explain that within each group there will be two players who form a forest, while the other player becomes the squirrel living in the forest. A forest is formed by two players facing each other, arms extended high placing their palms flat against each other. The squirrel living in the shelter should duck underneath.
  4.  Explain that you are going to call out three words: “Fire, hunters or hurricane.
  5.  When you call out “hunters”, the squirrels must leave their part of the forest and run to a different part while the forest stay in place.
  6.  Practice this a few times.
  7. When you call out “fire”, the forests must break apart and find a new person to create a part of the forest with.
  8.  Practice this a few times, adding in the “hunters” command as well.
  9.  Finally, when you call out “hurricane”, everyoneruns around for 5 seconds. At the end of 5 seconds new groups of 3 should form with 2 shelters and 1 person. During the “hurricane”, some of the forest can become squirrels and some/all of the squirrels can become the forest.
  10. Continue playing the game, alternating between calling out “hunters”, “fire” or “hurricane”.


– If you don’t have the right amount of students to divide evenly, the teacher and/or teaching assistant may have to play.

– For slightly older students, consider making the game competitive by having the “caller” be a student. When “hurricane” is called the “caller” joins the game and tries to find a group of 3. Whoever is left out becomes the new “caller”.


Lap, lap, clap, snap game

This is a great game for listening skills, keeping a steady beat using body percussion, and concentration/focusing skills.



1.  Teach the kids the main pattern, “Lap, Lap, Clap, Snap”. This is done by patting one’s legs with both hands twice in a row, clapping in front of you, and then snapping with both hands. Do it several times until everyone in the circle is comfortable with the rhythm.

*Note – If they can’t snap their fingers just get them to splay hands out instead of click.

4.  Then the game begins. The leader starts the action: “Lap, Lap, Clap, Snap.”  But instead of saying “Snap”, the leader then calls out the name of a person in the “snap”

5.  That person must then continue the pattern, calling out a different name in the place of the “snap”.

For example:

LEADER: Lap, Lap, Clap Tom!
SASHA:  Lap, Lap, Clap, Sarah!
JOHN: Lap, Lap, Clap, Tina!

6.  The trick is to never break the rhythm.  This will probably take some practice at first.  Practice until everyone gets comfortable with the pattern.

7.  When everyone gets comfortable with the game, increase the fun by speeding up the rhythm.


The North Wind Blows

 This is a good game for mixing up cliques and forming a positive class community.

Put chairs in a circle. Take one chair out. Choose someone to stand in the middle. They (or you) can call: “ The north wind blows for……….. everyone wearing a watch, everyone who loves chocolate, everyone who can swim a length, everyone who had breakfast today, everyone who likes ice cream etc… If the statement applies to a pupil, they must get up and change places. The caller finds a seat. The last pupil left standing, becomes the new caller. No one an change places with the person sitting next to them.

Fruit salad

As above but every one is a fruit e.g. melon, pear, banana, mango. When you call that fruit, the person standing tries to find a seat. Call Fruit Bowl for all to change. The caller can also call two or three fruits at a time.

Variation – Instead of fruit you could give everyone a sport and everyone changes seats on the word ‘olympics’.

*Note – This could link well to your UOIs by using 4 key words for everyone.

Zoom Eek

 A Zoom (car) is passed around the circle. Anyone can stop it and reverse it by shouting “EEK!” It must then change direction. No one can say “EEK” more than once. If you are feeling very strong, you can send two cars in opposite directions but that takes a lot of concentration.

Change the action

 The pupils must copy your PREVIOUS action every time you shout change, so: Teacher claps hands. Pupils sit still. Teacher shouts CHANGE and begins to pat her knees. Pupils begin to clap their hands. Teacher shouts CHANGE again and begins to click her fingers. Pupils now pat their knees. This is a good concentration builder.

Chief Ape

Have all players sit in a circle and then chose a person to be “it”. The “it” is to leave so that “it” cannot see or hear. Choose one person to be the chief and he will act out short movements. Examples are clapping hands three times, stomping feet 4 times, etc. All other players must do what the Chief does. Have “it” return to the group to figure out who is the Big Chief, you can give him up to three guesses if there’s a large group.

Cross The Circle

Everyone is numbered around the circle as 1,2,3. hen you call their number, everyone must cross the circle in role as…..a ballerina……….a panther………a moonwalker……..someone who’s stuck in the mud……..a fashion model……

* The students could go on to give their own suggestions.

The Line Game

Divide the pupils into equal groups. You will announce an order that you wish them to line up in, first group to do it and sit in a line on the floor wins a point. Use any of these categories: ages (oldest in the front – youngest in the back), alphabetically, shoe size, birthdays etc.

Pip, Squeak Wilfred

Everyone stands in a circle. You call them in turn, Pip, Squeak ,Wilfred. You call e.g. “Squeak”, all the Squeaks step outside the circle and walk clockwise around it. When you call “Home”, all the Squeaks must run IN THE SAME DIRECTION back to their original place. Last one back is out and must sit down in their place. CARE! Everyone standing, must stand still not swinging their legs out. Everyone sitting must sit up and not lean back on their hands or they’ll get trodden on.

*Note – You can give them any name you like. Maybe you could ask your students what words or names they would like to use. Again, these words could relate to your UOI.

Calming Down

Guided Mimes

Individual silent mimes, talked through in detail by you. E.g. Walking the dog Learning to juggle At the beach Riding the big dipper etc.

Magic Chairs

Everyone puts a chair in a space and moves away to the side of the room. The teacher explains what sort of chair it is and the pupils move to it and sit in it appropriately., staying silent and concentrating on their mime. The chairs might be: In a restaurant, highchairs, dentists chairs, in a plane etc.

*Ask the students for suggestions. They often come up with things that we’ve never thought of. One that was suggested by one students this year was ‘at the gym’ which showed lots of different creative uses of the chair.

Leaving the Room

Adverb Exit

Students must act their way to the door.

E.g.  If your your birthday is in January, February or March leave anxiously,

April, May or June leave bossily,

July, August or September, cheerfully etc.