Drama Exercises

Trust Exercises

The most powerful teaching tool I have ever used to create a cooperative and nonthreatening learning environment in my classroom is the common actors’ Trust Exercise. Put simply, it involves “falling”, (actually just leaning) towards another person, and trusting that person to catch you. I have developed this into a series of lessons which I use at the beginning of the year to create a climate of trust among the students in my class.

I always start the unit with a quick description of why I am doing these exercises. (There is no sell job needed. Except for a very few, very insecure people, the kids love this unit. By the end, the insecure ones love it, too.) I am very up-front about my reason for teaching these lessons. I explain that one key element in a good learning environment is a feeling of safety. And not only physical safety. Emotional safety.

By this time, they are all listening intently. Everyone has been bullied, physically and emotionally, and nobody likes it. My intent is to create a bullying-free atmosphere in the classroom, and they all buy in immediately. Yes, even those who might bully. I think most bullies attack first, because they are afraid of being attacked. If you can create an environment where they won’t be attacked, they are happy to cooperate.

So I tell them that a major step towards a safe environment is being able to trust every one of your classmates not to hurt you, either physically or emotionally.

Then I talk about trust, and how it is earned. I talk about how easy it is to lose trust. After all, it takes years to get a reputation as a trustworthy person, and one single error to blow those years down the drain. I emphasize that the objective of these lessons is to build trust. People have to practise trusting you, over and over, and never have a bad experience.

I repeat that it is necessary to trust everybody in the class: every single person. After all, it only takes one person making one nasty remark, and the shyest person will be afraid to perform.

(If you want more on the “Shyest Person”, check out “The First Six Weeks of School” post earlier this month)

So the objective of the next few lessons, clearly stated to the class, is that every student will earn the physical trust of every other student in the class.


This first lesson isn’t actually a trust exercise as such, but is a cooperative learning exercise. I use it as a five-minute warmup for my trust lessons. It simply consists of having the students move around the room in a random pattern. When I say, “Choose a partner,” they are to choose the nearest partner, no matter who it is. We wait until everybody has a partner, then we move again.

It is important that they are not asked to perform any serious activity with this partner. The point is to make the choice painless. So if a boy chooses a girl, he has succeeded in the objective of the lesson, and he doesn’t have to do anything but stand near her for a moment.

The major rule, and it is one I use all year in all situations, is that no one is allowed to protest or comment in any way on who their partner is. Even jokingly. Remember, the shyest student is hearing you.

The other rule is to make the choice as quickly as possibe. “Don’t waste our time.” I say that a lot. The inference is that they will be wasting valuable class ( and Drama game) time with silliness if they fail in the objective.

After they have played the game for long enough that I can see them truly choosing the nearest person no matter who, I start to make it a bit more difficult, but a bit more interesting. I will ask them to choose a group of three. I will ask them to choose a partner and stand back-to-back. Choose a group of three and touch toes (one foot each). Then I move into more difficult, like standing in a “high five” position with palms of one hand touching. (Yes, he actually touched a girl!) You make these up as you go along, depending on the degree of success you are seeing in the whole class. Obviously most of the group are going to be doing just fine. You are really judging your progress by the kids who find it the most difficult.

Remember, this is a consensus situation. You don’t go on to a harder step unless you’re pretty sure that every single class member can succeed. The key is to make the tasks interesting enough that the successful students are having fun giving the less successful ones time to practise.

My comments during the game focus on how well the class is succeeding at the objective: in other words, how quickly they are all finding partners. If anyone is not succeeding, I help him. I do not deal with any incident as if it is a discipline problem: only as situation where help is needed in achieving the objective.

The secondary objective, of course, is concentrating on the exercise and not goofing around. I don’t actually talk about this one, but I’m working on it big-time, especially at the beginning of the year. After all, success here will pay off in Reading and Math class as well.

If an appreciable number of students are not succeeding, I stop the exercise. I say something like, “All right, I don’t think we’re quite ready for the next step, so we’ll try again next Drama class. Once you can do this one really well, we can go on to the Trust Exercises.” And we all sit down and do some other subject. At this point I usually choose something relatively easy, quiet, and motionless. Nowhere do I want them to get the idea that this alternate activity is either a reward or a punishment.

After all, what do you do when half the class flunks a Math quiz? You don’t say to yourself (I hope), “Those dratted kids just won’t learn this Math.” You say, “I guess I better teach that again.” Drama lessons are exactly the same.

The last thing you want is for them to think, “You will do this my way or else I will punish you.”
The second-last thing you want is for them to think, “If I goof this up, we get to stop and do something more interesting.”

I will sometimes have a student sit out the exercises, if he is really not concentrating, but I get him back in as soon as I can. After all, succes in Trust Exercise requires 100 percent success. Once I have the class well-indoctrinated, being allowed back into the game is enough motivation for most students to improve their concentration.

Once again, I never want a student to think, “I was bad and now I’m being punished.”

I want the student to think, “I did not succeed at the objective, and I’m being helped to succeed.

I also don’t want anyone to think, “I don’t like this. I’ll screw up and get kicked out, and then I won’t have to do it.”

Once every student in the class has demonstrated the ability to make a quick choice of partner, I move on to the real Trust Exercises. Of course, for the next few lessons, I let them choose their friends as partners. Doing Trust Exercises with a randomly-chosen partner is a long way up the line.

Next post I will start the “I fall and you catch me” lessons.

More Trust Exercises

The first trust exercise is very simple. You lean forward, and the other person stops you from falling.

The hard part is to make sure 100% of the class has a positive experience, so everybody gains trust.

To start with, you need to clear some safe space for the class to work. Then you should do some “Choosing a Partner” warmups. I also have a “Pushing” warmup that is useful, given below. Then the lesson starts.

The teacher demonstrates the proper position for faller and catcher, using the smallest student in the class as a partner. The kids will laugh when they see you about to fall on this little person, but you explain and demonstrate that, if you don’t tip too far forward, it is quite possible for the little person to tip you back.

Then pair them up, allowing them to choose their own partners. Do not push them to work with anyone they aren’t happy with. If necessary, at this stage, I will allow a few groups of three to work together, exchanging positions. I tell them that they are expected to get past this stage very soon. Of course, an odd number of students in the class means either a group of three, or one student working with the teacher.

Explain the importance of concentration, and tell them to choose one faller and one catcher, and try three falls, then stop. Watch the progress, re-teach whatever needs to be taught, and have them switch jobs, and try three again. Practise a few times, and the lesson is finished. Put the classroom back together, and the day moves on. It doesn’t hurt to have a quick debrief, either in a circle on the floor, or back in their desks. I give them feedback on how the whole group has progressed in learning to earn trust.

With older children and a cooperative class, I will move on to “Falling Backwards” in the same 30-minute lesson. But not neccessarily. If they aren’t ready, they don’t move on.

A. Elements that make this activity successful:

1. Faller’s position:

Stand with feed about shoulder-width apart, with your arms crossed over your chest, held firmly against your body. The stated reason for this is that it creates a solid place for the catcher to hold. The catcher can push on the fronts of the shoulders, on the upper arms, or on the forearms, whichever feels the most secure.

The other reason, of course, is that this position makes most people feel safe. Especially when you have boys catching girls, it prevents embarrassing accidents.

2. Catcher’s position:

Stand with one foot planted backwards, front knee bent, as if you were going to push hard against something. Always use both hands. Watch the faller at all times. Concentration is important.

3. Clothing:

No jackets, loose sweaters, or anything which could cause the catcher’s hands to slip.

4. Position in room:

Set partners up so that the faller is falling towards the centre of the room, not towards the wall, or anything that could cause injury. It is common for the catcher to get off-centre, especially if the faller’s feet aren’t far enough apart, and the faller falls to the side.

5. “Hold” signal:

This is most important. Most teachers have a “Freeze” signal of some sort for their classes, and this is a perfect opportunity for reinforcement. I always explain that when I give the signal, which in my case is “Hold!” everybody is to stop whatever they are doing immediately, and face me. This means the faller, if falling, should immediately step forward, and stop the fall. I always demonstrate what would happen if the catcher faced the teacher, and the faller kept falling.

B. Problems to watch for:

1. Lack of trust:

The main problem is going to be someone who can’t trust his partner. You can tell, because, before he is caught, he will step forward and save himself.

The solution is to have this person “fall” only a tiny little way, before the catcher stops him, like the teacher with the small partner. This is actually the key part of the lesson, because it demonstrates in practical detail how you earn trust: slowly, a little bit more at a time.

The catchers should be told to look for this step forward, because it is up to them to choose how far they let the faller fall. If the person doesn’t trust you to catch him falling that far, then don’t let him fall that far. Move in, catch him sooner. Build trust slowly.

Even the most untrusting person can lean just a little bit. Once he has leaned a tiny bit and learned that the catcher will catch him, then he can be encouraged to lean a little more.

Watch for the child who leans forward with his head, and back with his seat, and isn’t really trusting his balance to the other person at all. Heels should leave the floor.

2. Lack of concentration:

As with any group activity, the main rule is: talking is fine, but not with anyone outside the group. So there are two people in the group, they are allowed to talk to each other, but not to anyone else. They are not to watch anyone else until they have finished the assignment.

I tell the students that, if they are really working on this, the noise level in the classroom will drop, and that I am expecting that to happen. It’s one signal that they are ready to go on to the next step.

3. Laughter:

The laugh is almost always the signal that somebody broke the trust. I mention this to the students, then I listen for it, and go to the source. It’s not that they aren’t allowed to laugh, it’s just a signal that they have not achieved the objective, and they need help.

“Pushing” Warmup

This warmup prepares them for the physical activity of the trust exercises.

With a partner of equal size, face each other with feet braced, palms together. Push against your partner’s hands. The object is to get the partner to move one foot. Accent the one foot, or the enthusiastic ones will push their partners across the room until they mow someone down.

You can set up a tournament with this, if you like, but keep it short and keep it light. The objective of the exercise is to learn the proper position for pushing. For those that don’t get it, draw attention to the fact that the person who gets lower and pushes upwards will win. This is important for the falling exercises, because it works the same way.

Variation: Acting it out.

If you want to have some fun with this as a demonstration of the cooperative nature of acting, tell them to do the same contest, but with a centimetre of empty air between their hands. Of course, this changes the whole nature of the activity. It demonstrates that, when two characters on stage are having a conflict, the two actors playing those characters are cooperating.

Next Post: Falling Backward. Scary!


Falling Backward

In order to create a trusting, positive, learning environment in your classroom, it really helps to make the students aware of the process of earning trust. As I teach these lessons, I take any opportunity I can to mention why we are practising these exercises, and what the outcome will be.

As I mentioned in my last posting, when the students are concentrating, the noise level in the room will drop, and I remind them of this once in a while, and comment when it happens. At this beginning stage I also remind them that, later on, they will be expected to work with any other student in the class. This means that they must be aware of the “shyest student”. No matter who they are partnered with, they must act as if a very nervous person is watching them, because, sooner or later, that shy person must learn to trust everyone. This is a key element in aiding concentration.

In order to minimize conflict, I try not to deal with concentration lapses as if they are discipline problems. I deal with them as failures to achieve the lesson objective. With this approach, I don’t punish people. I help them succeed at the assigned task. The advantage of these lessons is that the students really enjoy them, and want to learn to do them right.

Falling Backward

The most difficult trust exercise is to fall backward, because you can’t see the person who is catching you. There is no difference in the procedure; you tip back, and the person stops you from falling. I teach the lesson the same way I did the “Falling Forward” lesson. I let them choose their own partners, and set them up to fall towards the centre of the room. They are to try three falls each, then stop and wait for the rest of the class to catch up.

The only difference is the faller’s position. I ask the faller to stand with arms down, slightly away from the sides, held stiff. The reason for this is that, if the catcher finds the faller too heavy, he can slide his forearms under the faller’s arms, and hold him up that way. If the catcher is in the proper pushing position, he has one knee forward, and this can hold the faller up as well.

I tell the students that this is actually a position from First Aid training. If a person goes unconscious while you are holding him up, you slide your forearms under his armpits, and let him slide down your knee to the floor.

It is important that the faller keep his body rigid. If the faller allows his body to bend into a sitting position, then the catcher has to actually lift his weight, instead of propping him up, and it is much more difficult not to drop him.

This lesson has an element that appeals to the confident students. If their partner is really trusting, they can let him fall quite far before catching him. If you have any dancers in your class, they are quite used to falling back and being caught and lowered all the way to the floor, then tossed upright again. The trick with this, of course, is that there are two ways to let a person fall.

The first way, the scary one, is that you let the person fall, and don’t touch him until he has fallen quite far, and then catch him at the last moment. The second way, which is what the dancers do, is that you catch the person quite early in the fall, and then lower him back farther, after he already knows he has been caught. If I have a confident group who are concentrating well, I demonstrate this, and let them see how far they can push the trust.

Watch for fallers who are bending back, but not trusting their weight to the other person. If they actually tip, their toes will leave the floor as they rock on their heels.

Random Partners

Once you have practised these exercises a few times, and everybody knows the techniques, it is time to start trusting other people. The first step is to have them change partners, their own choice. By the third lesson, I have them choose another partner regularly. I challenge them to keep working with new people.

When I feel they are ready for random partners, I set the classroom up differently. This time, I line them up, facing their partners, in one double row, all the way down the classroom. Then, once they have run through three falls forward and three falls back, I take one student from the end of one line, and move him to the other end of his line. Everybody else shifts over one partner to accommodate.

Again, I remind them that the most important rule is that nobody can complain in any way, either verbally or through body language, about their new partner. After all, how could you trust someone who has just demonstrated that he doesn’t want to work with you?

I only have them work with these partners for three falls each, forward and back, and then I move them on. Sometimes I move two people from one end of the row to the other, sometimes three. This keeps them from figuring out who their next partner is going to be, and helps prevent adverse comments.

I continue to remind them that, when every student in the class will work willingly with any other person in the class, then we have achieved a very important objective, which will help them to create a classroom where they feel safe, and a learning environment where they can succeed at the very best of their abilities.

Next Posting: Trusting larger groups

Trust in Groups of Three

 Since the objective of these lessons is to create a learning environment where everyone trusts everyone else, it is necessary to start the students trusting more than one person at a time. The next obvious step is two people. So now one student will fall, and be caught alternately by two others.

The warmup for this exercise is practice in falling forward and backward in pairs. For most of these lessons, what I taught last lesson becomes the warmup for the new lesson. Since the last lesson we worked on trusting various people in the class, the warmup will involve pairs practice, but changing partners frequently.

Once we have warmed up, and reviewed the principles of gaining trust, we move ahead to working in groups of three. However, we go back to working with people we know. Any new technique brings uncertainty, and the students do better working with their friends. Once again, if there is a person left over, a group can have four, and just keep switching one out.

As usual, I choose a triad of responsible students for the demonstration. The faller stands as if falling forward: arms crossed tight, feet shoulder-width apart. One catcher stands in front, one behind. It is important to remind the class at this point that, because the faller has arms folded in front, the rear catcher can’t go for deep catches like the pairs backward exercise. There is a change of focus here.

The objective is not to have the person fall far, but to have the person feel comfortable. In a successful group, the faller closes his eyes, and stops worrying about where he is falling, because he is completely sure that his other two partners will protect him.

It is also important to demonstrated the “push through”. If one of the catchers lets the faller go a bit too far, and is pushing hard to get him upright, he might keep pushing for too long. This means the faller is now coming towards the other catcher too fast, and the other catcher will not be able to catch him. In order to work this properly, the catchers should push harder at the bottom, but when the faller reaches the top of the arc, the pusher pushes less and less, and the faller should almost stop, every time he passes through vertical.

Right now is a good time to stop and try the “Pushing a Boat” exercise at the bottom of this posting.

After demonstrating, I let the students go ahead and try falling in threes. The first lesson on this topic, I call the switches, so that everybody gets a turn at centre (some will try to duck out; make sure they don’t). Once again, make sure the faller is not falling towards a desk or other hard object.

Of course, you will see fallers putting a foot forward or back, or seeming to lean but not actually committing their weight. If you notice this, work with the triad, showing them how to let the faller lean just a little wee bit each time, increasing as the faller feels more comfortable. In this group, there should be constant communication, as the faller tells the catchers how he is feeling, when he is ready to fall a bit farther.

This is a lesson where, as the students become more successful, the class gets quieter.

That’s all there is to the lesson. If they are making good progress, have them choose another group of three, and try again.

At the end, a debrief might ask whether anybody felt the “floating” motion, where you really lose track of where upright is. Comments I might make at this time indicate that, when the class is very successful at this, they can work with anyone in the class, and the classroom will become quieter and quieter.

In succeeding lessons, we try for these two objectives: more quiet, more different partners.

“Pushing a Boat.”

The exercise I practise with the students to develop the proper pushing action involves miming the pushing of a heavy boat away from the dock. At first, the boat is dead still, and because it is heavy, you have to push with all your might. Once it starts moving, you push less, and, at the very end, your force tapers off to nothing, as the boat moves away, and you have to keep your balance back on the dock.

Once we have worked with that a short time, we work the reverse: stopping a heavy boat which is approaching the dock. This time, you start with a little push, but as the boat gets closer and closer, and you are worried it will hit the dock, you push harder and harder.

These two actions mimic exactly the pushing when a person falls towards you, and you push him upright, allowing him to almost stop as he passes through vertical towards the other catcher.

The next posting, I will talk about falling with groups of five or six. This requires even more trust, and a bit more technique, so success is even more satisfying for the students.

Groups of Six

 As these lessons progress, we are moving towards trusting more and more people, because the end objective is a learning environment where every student trusts everyone in the classroom, including the teacher.

So, once we have warmed up with falling in pairs, backwards and forwards, and switching the partners around a bit, we work on triads for a while, until the teacher is sure that everyone in the class understands what is required to achieve success. Then we move on to groups of six.

The simplest way to organize this is to tell the students to take their group of three, and join with another group to make six. If there is one group of three left over, break them up and send the individual members to any other group they choose, because a group of seven works just as well.

The exercise works similarly to threes, with two exceptions, which must be very clear to the students:

1. The faller chooses which way to fall. Every time he is pushed to the centre, he must stop for a brief moment, then push himself in whatever direction he chooses. If this instruction is not followed, what happens is that the faller is pushed to centre, and a bit beyond, changes his direction, and falls diagonally towards one catcher, who then pushes him, not straight upward, but slightly to the side, onto the next catcher, who passes him on sideways, and he falls in a sort of spiral towards the floor. After you see this happen once, (and you will) you understand what I mean.

The solution is to make sure the faller is pushed directly upright every time, and chooses where to fall next.

2. The catchers do not brace themselves solidly. Because there are several people catching, and because the faller is falling in any direction, sooner or later the faller will move towards the gap between two catchers. To prevent this, the faller is never caught by only one catcher. As he falls towards one catcher, the two catchers on either side shift slightly, so they can help a bit. If he should fall directly between two catchers, they each shift together, so there are two of them holding him. In this way, there is a constant shifting of the circle, so as to always present a strong section to protect the faller.

Once again, the main signs of succes are fallers with their eyes closed, getting a floating feeling, and a steady decline in classroom noise, as everyone concentrates on the activity.

Once the students are comfortable with this, and everyone in the group has taken a turn in the centre (this might take two lessons) you can mix up the groups, so that they are not working with their friends.

When I am very sure that the class is having success, I start a lesson with falling in triads, then I choose which triad goes with which other triad to make the groups of 6. At this point, if they are ready, I put each triad of girls with a triad of boys. Careful monitoring is necessary at this point, to make sure that everyone fulfills his or her role, but if the class has bought in to the objective, they will concentrate on achieving success, and forget all the silly social hangups.

Remember, if they cannot handle this exercise at this time, you simply stop the class, tell them that you don’t think they are quite ready to move forward, and go on to some other normal class activity. You can’t force students to trust others, and you can’t threaten them with punishment if they don’t cooperate. Individuals who do not demonstrate willingness to cooperate with the rest of the class can be removed briefly from the exercise, then inserted into other groups once they have settled down.

Once your class has demonstrated the ability to put aside the usual prejudices of their age group and focus on the task at hand, you have made a great stride towards a wonderful learning environment in your classroom.

The Blind Walk

 When the class has learned to trust each other in pairs and small groups, you have made good progress towards creating a positive learning environment in the classroom. Now it is time for each member of the class to demonstrate trust of the whole class (under teacher supervision, of course). This is one of the “fun” parts of this unit, which the students love. The problem is to make sure everyone gets a turn!

The Blind Walk is a simple format. You need a large space, with enough room for the class to form a circle, standing up, shoulder-to shoulder. The student who is the subject walks to the centre of the circle, closes his eyes, and walks. As he approaches the edge of the circle, whoever he approaches reaches out, touches each shoulder with two fingers, and gently turns the subject, steering him in another direction. The subject walks in that direction until he reaches the edge of the circle again, and the nearest person re-directs him.

Once the subject has been redirected by five or six (or more) students, I simply have him trade places with the next student he approaches, and a new subject starts his walk.

While the game is simple, the preparation and presentation deserve a few comments.

I always warm up for this class with some of the falling exercises. At this stage, I make sure that students are working with random partners. I only go on to this new exercise when I am sure that every student in the class will work with any other student, without complaint or comment. This game and the one that comes after it (Airport) are rewards of a sort. I tell them, “Once you are able to demonstrate mastery of …, then you are able to do …, which is fun.”

I always preface this game with a discussion of trust, bringing to the students’ minds the concept of trusting everyone, and how it affects the learning and social environment of the class.

I always review the “shyest student” idea at this point. While it may be funny to make faces and wave your hands at your friend if he approaches with his eyes closed, the shyer students in the class will be afraid that you are going to make fun of them when they take their turn.

Notice I do not use a blindfold. The subject is in complete control at all times; he can open his eyes any time he wants to. There is no “cheating”. If a person needs to look a bit, nobody comments. Each subject is demonstrating as much trust as he is able.

The great benefit of this exercise is that I always present it and run the game in a strictly serious fashion, yet the students have a great time playing it.

Once the class has demonstrated the ability to concentrate fully, I start to make it a bit more difficult. I spin the subject a few times at the beginning, to disorient him. For fun, we change the shape of the circle, making it longer and narrower, or larger, or smaller. We have even moved some subjects from the classroom into the hall!

With larger classes, sometimes I use two circles, in order to get more subjects through in one class. A good trick is to get the subjects to switch circles. Be careful that they don’t run into each other.

The point of playing around is to make the trust just a little more difficult, but to maintain the trust all the same. At the end, when I debrief the lesson, I make sure the class is aware of how much progress they have made.

Next posting: The final game, “Airport”


 Once the students in your class have achieved the ability to trust each other, they can play this game. It has other educational objectives, besides being a reward and a proof of their trust for each other. If they are truly cooperating with each other, and working in a trusting learning environment, this game is really easy to supervise.

The class is seated on the floor in two rows, a little more than a metre apart. This is the “runway”. Through a random selection process of your own choosing, pick a “pilot” and an “air traffic controler”. The pilot stands at one end of the runway, with his back to the class. The teacher then selects three or four students to be “wrecked planes” on the runway. These students arrange themselves on the floor of the runway, to obstruct the pilot’s landing.

The story goes like this: it is a very foggy day, and the pilot is trying to land his plane on the runway. Several other planes have crashed in the fog, and their wrecks are scattered over the runway. The air traffic controller must guide the pilot to a safe landing by talking on the “radio”.

At this point, the pilot closes his eyes and turns around. The air traffic controller instructs the pilot how to move, and the pilot must walk the full length of the runway, making contact as few times as possible with the students who are wrecks or the students who are edges of the runway. The other students must not move, either towards or away from the pilot. The teacher referees, calling the touches. Once the pilot reaches the end of the runway, he is finished, and a new team of students is selected for the next round.

Of course, the other main learning objective in this game is the ability to give instsructions. Between rounds, some comments on giving instructions are appropriate.

Another useful objective comes from the fact that the game works much better if the rest of the class is absolutely silent during play. A major element of cooperation is the ability to be a quiet audience while someone else is performing.

If you want to make the game interesting, the “wrecks” can lie completely across the runway, forcing the pilot to step over them. They can also stand and join hands across the runway, forcing the pilot to duck under. Be aware of safety, and monitor closely.

Then, if you really want to push it: no words allowed. The air traffic controller must use sounds (claps, clicks, hums, whistles, etc.) instead of words, with no discussion ahead of time. The controller and the pilot must figure out which sound means which movement, before the pilot reaches the first wreck. Demonstrate this briefly, then let them try. There is a great sense of accomplishment when people actually complete the course without any touches, without verbal communication.

Peripheral Note: I never keep score in any classroom games of this sort. Certainly, there are points made or lost, but they are only a measure of how well the team is doing, compared to other average teams. I rarely actually discuss this with the students, but the message is clear. There are no losers, because in a cooperative situation, where everyone is learning something, and everyone is participating and having a good time, everybody is winning.

I play this game for several class periods, so that everyone gets a chance to try the lead roles. I always warm the class up with some of the previous trust exercises, to remind them of why we are working on these skills.

This is the end of the unit. Once the students will practise the trust exercises with any random partner, and concentrate fully on the larger group activities, they have demonstrated, as a group, a high degree of cooperation, both with the rest of the class and with the teacher. By the time you have finished this unit with your class, they have come a long way towards a caring, cooperative, trusting, learning envirionment. You will find you have less conflict and bullying in your class. You will find that other cooperative activities run smoothly. You will find your class willing to be dead quiet for extended activities. And your class is ready for some of the more drama-oriented activities which I will be posting in the future.