Goal: To build an ensemble and to focus the group.


Contributed by Renata Townsend


To build an ensemble and to focus the group.


  • Teaching Artist invites students to create a circle.  
  • Teaching Artist asks the group to all snap together on the count of 3. 
  • Once the group has decided on the snap (or alternative sound/gesture that group will use) the teaching artist models “throwing” the snap to the classroom teacher by making an eye contact with the classroom teacher before “throwing”. 
  • The classroom teacher will “catch” the snap by snapping and then “throw” the snap to someone else in the circle. A person will be snapping twice, once to catch, and again to throw. 
  • The game continues by passing the snap across the circle. 
  • Level Up Option: after playing this game multiple times, the teaching artist can level it up by changing the formation of the group. It can be played by people being dispersed around the space or even walking around the space.

Transition into Activity

I use this activity as an opening for all of my residencies. After teaching it once students know that once we get in the circle and we begin our snaps, they know what to do. I like to try and start it non-verbally.

Transition out of Activity

To transition out of the game when the energy feels like it is flowing, whenever the snap is thrown to me I put the snap in my pocket and thank everyone for their focus and energy.

Classroom Arrangement

  • sitting or standing on a circle
  • moving around the space

Supports/Adaptive Materials/Tools

  • Teaching Artist clarifies that if you aren’t able to make a sound when snapping, that is fine, you can just do the physical gesture. 
  •  Artist can also decide that instead of snapping the group can come up with a different sound and gesture that everyone can do (perhaps a clap or a thumbs up). 
  • Artist coaches students to listen to the energy being sent to them and receive the energy according to how it was sent. For example, if the snap was thrown quickly to you, how would you catch that snap vs if it was rolled gently to you on the floor. 
  • If Teaching Artist notices that there are students who are not getting the snap they can pause the game and ask people to raise their hands if they have not received the snap. Teaching Artist can coach that the goal is for everyone to receive the snap at least once.
  • Write criteria as it’s generated on a poster so students remember what they are working towards 
  • Make the circle in chairs, or on a taped circle if needed

Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals

  • Support the Teaching Artist to be the first person to catch or throw the snap. 
  • Model eye contact and focus and speed 
  • Write down criteria generated

Remote Adaptation

Make sure to unmute all students; instead of eye contact call the
person you are about to “throw” the snap to. 

Art forms


10 mins