Congregation Dorshei Tzedek
February 28, 2021
The 4 Keys to Stellar Cooperation
1. Make each other look brilliant.
2. Listen to understand.
3. Allow others to express their ideas and then build on them.
4. Embrace trying new things, even if they scare you.
1. One person starts by holding an object up to the camera.
2. Everyone else holds up a nearby object that “matches” the original object. This can be a realistic match or your own interpretation of a match (think Apples to Apples, if you’re familiar with that game).
3. The original person chooses which object they feel best matches theirs (can be true or silly, it’s up to the individual).
4. The person whose object was declared the “best match” finds a new object in their space and holds it up to the camera.
5. This process repeats.
I Need Three Things
This activity is great to do at the beginning of a session. It gets students focused and engaged while warming up their listening skills. It also helps them to exercise their spontaneity and imagination muscles. It's important to have a simple warm-up activity like this one before jumping into other activities that might require a bit more involved imagining/storytelling.
1. One person starts by saying "I need" and follows with a list of three things. These things can be anything -- they can be related to each other or not.
2. The next person continues by saying "I need" and follows with a list of three things. The one requirement is that the first item of this list is the last item from the list of the previous person.
3. For example:
Person 1: I need a car, a key, and a steering wheel
Person 2: I need a steering wheel, a cow, and a bus
Person 3: I need a bus, a baby, and a bullhorn
Person 4: I need a bullhorn, a stadium, and a crowd
Note: This exercise can be done in pairs as well as in small groups.
Live on Location
We want our learners to understand WHY we celebrate our holidays, not just how to do it. Emotional connection is key to that. Live on Location casts each learner as a news reporter bringing us directly to a scene. This is a great way for students to put themselves in the shoes of the characters they’ve learned about. Doing this activity will help the students to develop an emotional connection with the content which will then help them internalize the learnings and build a personal relationship to it.
Start by getting 4-6 people to volunteer
Ask everyone else to turn off their videos. Alternatively, you can choose to spotlight the individuals that are participating.
Give them a location and/or scenario that they will be reporting from. For example, reporting live from Noah’s Ark.
One person will start by saying “Hi my name is _______ and I’m live on location at ______.” They will then improvise a 1-3 sentence description of where they are.
They will then pass it off to another person by saying “Over to you [name of new person].”
The new person will then follow the same script as in step (4) and will pass it off to another person when they are done. The students can choose to follow the storyline/location of the previous person, or start a new thought/story/idea in a different location.
This continues until every person gets a chance to have a turn at least once. Feel free to keep it going for a while if you have the time. It's a great opportunity for students to not only think creatively and develop a relationship to the material, but also wonderful for developing camaraderie with one another as they engage in this process of co-creation.
Person 1 (Alex): “Hi this is Alex live on location at Noah’s Ark. There are a ton of animals here running around like crazy. It’s absolutely crazy here folks! Over to you, Ari.”
Person 2 (Ari): “Hi this is Ari and I am live on location here in the reptile area of the Ark. The snakes are slithering up the walls and it’s quite packed in back here. There appears to be 2 of every single reptile back here and it’s giving me the creeps. Over to you Shana.”
This process continues until every person has gotten a chance to go at least once.
It is helpful to have the class brainstorm in the chat beforehand everything they know related to the topic. This will help all students feel supported knowing that when they are playing a reporter, they can rely on glancing at the chat for inspiration and guidance.
Don’t be afraid to let them riff. Even if the story gets wild, it helps them build emotional connection both to one another and to the material, and of course you can always debrief a bit at the end to review the actual facts.
10 Second Scenes
This activity focuses on physicality and creativity. It promotes engagement by helping students feel seen and affirmed for their creativity. This is best played in groups of 5-6 students. You can have the students that aren’t participating stop their videos.
Call out a theme and give the students 10 seconds (countdown from 10 aloud) to take on a pose of a “character” in that theme. Encourage them to use their imagination and think creatively. For example, if the theme is “beach” encourage them to not only pose as a person sunbathing, but also consider that they can pose as an umbrella, a seashell, the sun, the water, or anything else that might be found at a beach. By the time you’ve counted down from 10, they should be frozen in a pose. If it is appropriate for your group, you might take a screenshot at this point. These are always fun to look back on later.
Now, you guess aloud what each student is posing as. Make sure to have fun with this. The faster and sillier you make guesses, the more enjoyable it is for your students. If you’re stumped after guessing a few times, it’s helpful to use language such as “you stumped me!” or “give us the big reveal!” This helps nurture a positive experience for the student even if you weren’t able to guess what they intended.
*Some themes to consider:
Passover, Purim, or any Jewish holiday
Any bible story
Under the sea