Blow Wind Blow
Contributed by Jean Wong
This activity is a quick and easy way to take a general “class temperature check” using movement and gestures to elicit non-vocal responses from students.
- Before class, prepare three to five statements you will use for the activity. These statements can be tailored in many different ways (e.g. for a first meeting with students or a final reflection).
- Invite students to their rug spots or an empty space where they can move around.
- Ask students to imagine themselves as leaves swaying in a gentle breeze.
- Call out, “Blow, wind, blow if [insert statement]” (e.g., “Blow, wind, blow if you feel excited to be in school today”).
- If students answer “Yes” to the statement, rather than call out their responses, they will move quietly and gently to another spot on the rug or in the room. If their response to the statement is “No,” they will remain swaying or standing still.
- (Optional) If this is the first time students are meeting each other, have them turn to their partner on their left, introduce themselves, and explain their responses to their partner.
- Repeat until all statements have been shared and students are in different spots from where they began.
Transition into Activity
To support students in feeling grounded and calm before the activity, invite students to take a big stretch. You can also invite students to take three deep breaths before arriving in the center of the room or once everyone has found their spot. Remind students that when doing movement-based activities, they are to be careful with their bodies and the bodies of their classmates. Before sharing a statement for students to respond to, invite them to practice being a leaf in the wind or a gentle breeze.
Transition out of Activity
Invite students to take one more big stretch and/or three deep breaths before returning to their seats.
Students are at their rug spots or in an open space.
- Invite students to stay in their seats if unable to move around the classroom.
- Use ASL or gestures to express responses. If this method is chosen, give students five seconds to look around the room and absorb everyone’s responses.
Possible Roles for Classroom Professionals
- Maintain the boundaries of usable space (this can be described as the “forest”) by role-playing trees that stop leaves from traveling too far away.
- Keep the activity grounded and calm in their role as trees.
- Participate in the activity.
- Help demonstrate the activity.
Adjustments for Remote Instruction
- Ask students to use Gallery View or a similar setting so that the whole group is visible to them.
- When a statement is read, students can respond by turning their camera off or on. This will place them in a different spot in the Gallery View than before.
- If students prefer to keep their camera off, they can use an icon to express themselves.