1. Divide the class into groups of 8 students and ask each group of eight to stand in a circle about an arm’s length apart. Give each circle one ball. Tell them that this is a chance to share a name or nickname that they want to be called, along with an adjective that feels good to them. Ask everyone to remember all the names and describing words of the people in their circle.
2. Ask each circle to designate a team captain who will begin the game for their circle. Describe the rules of the game: Tell students that they can toss the ball to anyone in their circle, but they must say the name and adjective of the person they are tossing the ball to. Tell them no one can touch the ball a second time until everyone has caught the ball once. Tell them to remember who they toss the ball to and who they received the ball from. Tell them to complete this same pattern of tossing the ball around the circle three times so that everyone can remember the pattern and learn names.
3. Next, on a signal from you, have each team captain begin the tossing pattern in their circle. The objective is for each circle to make three complete circuits of tosses and names in the fastest time. If the ball is dropped, it must be retrieved and the circuit continues from that spot. Ready? Set? Go to determine the winner.
4. Now place a bag of extra balls in the center of the room. After the team captain from each circle starts the pattern, she or he can go get another ball to put into play in their circle, maintaining the same pattern of tossing and receiving with two balls. Team captains can add 2 or 3 or more balls as long as the students in the circle keeps the pattern going without dropping the balls and keep calling out the correct names and adjectives of their classmates.
5. Stop the game before total chaos ensues and ask how many balls each circle was able to keep going before the pattern broke down.
1. Invite everyone to come and sit in a circle.
2. Talk to the students about the importance of knowing the names of people in the class and using these names as one way to make the class fun, inclusive and respectful for everyone.
3. Ask students to think about a time when someone didn’t know their name, forgot their name or called them a demeaning name instead of the name they prefer. Ask them how that felt? Ask students if there’s a name they’ve been wanting to be called, but haven’t had the chance to tell people yet. This is their chance to choose a name they want to be called. Emphasize the importance of “No Name-calling” as a way to make the class fun and respectful for everyone.
4. Invite students to help each other remember not to use names meant to put down someone else or to make someone else feel disrespected or not included in class activities.
5. Ask the students how this can help keep their gym, locker room, bathrooms and classrooms safer.