Connecting Eyes

Purpose: to be able to collaborate as a group

Duration:

20/30 participants

Step-by-step Instruction:

  1. Participants stand in a circle
  2. Each person makes eye contact with another person across the circle
  3. Participants with eyes connected walk across the circle and exchange positions, while maintaining eye contact
  4. Many pairs can exchange at the same time, and the group should try to make sure that everyone in the circle is included in the exchange
  5. Start the activity in silence and then exchange greetings in the middle of the circle, when people meet.

What happened in class?

Energizers are often considered as simple moments of leisure. Obviously, their purpose is to “break the ice” and create a carefree and cheerful context, but they also aim at highlighting some attitudes useful to the class group.

“Students and teachers should be aware that this activity is not just a game and that if it is done correctly, it works on many cognitive levels of self-perception, intention and communication” (Italian teacher).

Changes made

In some cases, the activity was repeated twice because students underestimated its importance. They just exchanged position without focusing heavily on eyes contact. The activity has been started again with only two participants. They were encouraged to maintain eye-contact until the end of the exchange, and to clearly show their intention to the class involving the rest of the body in their movement of walking across the circle.

Strengths and weaknesses of the activity

  • It’s a simple but effective learner-centred activity.
  • Maintaining eye contact involves the participation of the rest of the body.
  • Eye contact can definitely improve communication skills. (e.g. They can get better grades if they keep eye contact with their teacher during an oral test)

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