Blow Wind Blow
Contributed by Jean Wong
This activity is an easy and quick way to take a temperature check without having students introduce themselves individually. It utilizes movement and gestures to garner responses from students so that educators and students can quickly glance the mood, tone, and vibe of a classroom on a given day. All educators need to do is come up with 3-5 statements that have yes or no responses. For example, I feel excited to be in school today. I have one or more siblings. I do not like homework.
- Invite students to their rug spots or an empty space where they can move around.
- Invite students to imagine themselves as leaves swaying in a gentle breeze.
- Educators call out “Blow Wind Blow if [insert statement]”. For example “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 are read and students are in different spots from where they began.
Transition into Activity
- Invite students to take a big stretch. Since this is a movement-based activity, you can also invite students to take 3 deep breaths either before arriving in the center of the room or once everyone has found their spot. Make sure everyone is grounded and calm before the activity. Remind students that when doing movement-based activities, they are to be careful with their bodies and the bodies of their classmates.
Transition out of Activity
- Invite students to take one more big stretch and/or 3 deep breaths before returning to their seats.
- Students are at their rug spots or in an open space.
- Rather than invite students to move around, educators can also invite students to stay in their seats and use ASL and gestures to express their responses. If this method is chosen, give students 5 seconds to look around the room and absorb everyone’s responses.
Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals
- Classroom professionals should maintain the boundaries of usable space (can be described as the “forest”) role-playing as trees that stop the leaves from traveling too far away. As trees, classroom professionals can help keep the activity grounded and calm.
Adjustments for Remote Instruction
- Ask students to ensure that they are all in “gallery view”. When a statement is read, rather than move around the space, students will turn their cameras off and on. This will find them placed in a different spot in the gallery view than before. If students prefer to keep their cameras off, they can use an icon to express themselves.