If you work with children, this is a great cooperative game to play in a classroom setting. Like all cooperative games, it teaches cooperation and promotes social and emotional learning. It is excerpted from my forthcoming book, available at CooperativeGames.com (which gives lots of info on the why and how-to of using cooperative games.)
Teacher for a Time
Materials: None needed
Number of Players: 7 or more
Object of the Game: To guess which student is leading the others in a series of movements
Skills: Cooperation; Gross Motor Skills; Observing; Inferring; Taking turns
Game Category: Active physical game
Assemble the group. Choose one volunteer to be the first student to leave the group. She steps outside the room or goes anyplace where she cannot see the group. The remaining players then choose the “Teacher,” who is the movement leader. The teacher decides on a gross motor movement, such as hopping, touching toes, or clapping, and the rest of the group follows along, doing the same movement as the teacher. The teacher changes motions frequently and the rest of the group copies the movement.
Once the group can “follow the teacher” smoothly so it’s hard to tell who the leader is, the student outside the room returns. He or she guesses who the teacher is by watching the group.
The “teacher” becomes the next student to leave the room. The game keeps going like this. You, the true teacher, designate the little teacher each round. Be sure that everyone has a chance to take on the leader role.
Variations: For extra challenge, if you have a large class, you can do this activity in pairs. A pair of students leaves the room while a pair of students remains as the teachers directing the others in movements. Each of the two teachers does a different movement with the class.