When I Went to…
The exercise uses a repeated string of words to build and talk about memory. To begin the exercise you will want to split the group into groups of about 5-10 people. More than 10 and the game becomes very challenging. You can use any place that suits your purpose: RE, Youth Con, Sunday Service, etc. Here is how the game works:
1st person in circle: When I went to RE I brought a hug.
2nd person in circle: When I went to RE I brought a hug and a chalice.
3rd person in circle: When I went to RE I brought a hug, a chalice, and my guitar.
4th person in circle: When I went to RE I brought a hug, a chalice, my guitar and passion.
The game continues in this way.
When teaching the exercise to the very young I start with 8 items and use picture cards to teach the progression. For example:
Sidecoach: When I went to RE I brought a (pull picture card) a cow.
Participant: When I went to RE I brought a cow and (pull a card) igloo.
Sidecoach: When I went to RE I brought a cow, an igloo, and (pull a card) a fish.
And so on up to about 8. Then I demonstrate closing my eyes and saying all 8 in order and have the student do the same.
Then we play without the cards. I have gone up to 10 items. In this version the student chooses their item and I choose mine. I use my fingers on the table to show them a movement to item connection and how it works. I also like to explain why I make a movement for each thing I remember and relate it to how they might learn sight words.
Encourage participants to think of actual things they brought to your location (physical or metaphorical.) You can also put the game in the future and say something like:
When I go to RE I will bring a…
In reverence, talk about the memories that the game brought up from an actual event. Or about what the participant will bring next time.
Spolin, Viola. Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher’s Handbook. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1986. Print.
Great for the themes of: Community and Memory and Hope.