Take a breath. I don’t know about you but I am more stressed than normal. A mindful minute (or better yet, 3-5 minutes) is a great way to open a meeting. I’ve done this in the mastermind. We love it. People can keep their cameras on or turn them off. Everyone should be on mute during this time. As a facilitator let people know you’ll communicate when the time is up. 

Count to 10. This is an improv game focused on listening and presence. Have everyone close their eyes. As a group, challenge them to count to ten. The catch: if anyone repeats a number or says a number at the same time as someone else, they must start back at “one.” This game is hilarious. Give them 3 minutes or so for this game. 

Category + 3. The facilitator choose a category (e.g. favorite books, worst tasting food, place you’d like to visit one day). Be as creative as possible! Once you name the category, pass the mic (that means you call on the next participant). The person with the mic then names 3-items relating to that category. IMPORTANT: everyone is off-mute during this game. After someone names their 3-items, people go crazy applauding for the person and cheering them on.

EXAMPLE:

I name the category “Great dance songs” and pass the mic to Demetrius.

Demetrius says: “You can’t touch this, Now that we found love, It takes two.” Demetrius then names a new category “Three football teams who will never win the super bowl during our lifetime” and passes the mic to Jessica.

Recreate a poem. Shout out to Karine who taught me this. We used the poem “The way it is.” HOW TO PLAY: One person reads the entire poem out loud. A second person reads the poem out loud. Now, as a group, people choose to read the line that speaks to them. It could be the first line, last line, a line in the middle. It doesn’t matter. Give the group 3 minutes to recreate the poem reading meaningful lines they want to share with the group. There is no right or wrong way to do this. If there is a pause or silence … just wait until someone steps up and reads a new line. After three minutes, the facilitator reads the last line of the poem to signal the game is over. 

Debrief as a group. Some questions to ask:

  • How did the poem change when we recreated it?
  • (If you do this with educators) How might you use this activity in class?
  • What did you notice?
  • Why did you choose the line(s) you shared?
  • What was easy/difficult about this activity?
  • How did you feel during the silence?

Breakout rooms!!! You’ll need a Zoom account for this one. Create as many breakout rooms as you need. Give groups 5-10 minutes to discuss a question. Send participants into their breakout rooms. Use the broadcast feature to share the same question to discuss in the breakout room. After 5-10 minutes, bring everyone back. Repeat through a number of times. Debrief with the group. What did they notice? What did they enjoy? What did they hear from someone else that they want to highlight with the larger group?

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