Mindful Movement does not always need to be calm, slow and serious.

We often talk about, “meeting the body where it is at”. This time of year can present challenges for adults trying to wrangle in the excess energy. Instead of trying to resist the silliness, we recommend offering opportunities for play within the mindful framework.

Trickster and Archetype Game from the Yoga Calm® curriculum helps students identify the trickster in themselves and develop this aspect of the personality in ways that are useful or otherwise positive.

Are you looking for a way to spice up your literacy lesson? Here is how you can integrate this game into the Text Connections ELA standard.

Start With Stories

Start by building background with a variety of trickster tales. From Kipling’s Just So Stories to Robin Hood and his Merry Men, skip across time and space to analyze the similarities between all of these tricksters.

Play the Game

Start by spreading the students out around the room. Use the Move Mindfully® Card Deck to cue bodies into Mountain. Call out the name of a trickster, like “Anansi” and watch as everyone transforms into cunning spiders, scurrying along the floor. I like to use my drum as a cue to start and stop movement. When the drum starts playing, movement starts. When the drum stops playing, movement stops. The slow, steady beat also helps from things getting out of control. 

trickster game

When the drum stops, students show a freeze of the trickster. It is important that after an exciting game like this one, that students are brought back with regulating breathing and movement. Try the video on the Move Mindfully® Teachers Pay Teachers store.

theater games in school

Extend to Writing

To extend into Writer’s Workshop, you can use photos from the Trickster Game as inspiration for a Trickster Tale. You’ll be amazed how weaving their own image into the illustration can encourage even reluctant writers to produce creative writing!

student art work        student art work

Build Self Awareness and Self Esteem

I love that this activity allows students to tap into a side of their personality that is normally seen as taboo. I even had a student come back the next day and say, “Now, Mrs. Kennelly… I normally wouldn’t do this, but I figured you would be okay with it… studying tricksters and all…” After much beating around the bush he presented his prized collection of practical joke items. He was so proud showing off his fake cockroach.

practical joke items

In this world we need architects, advocates and executives… but we also need jokesters. We need the class clown. We need to laugh. And what is funnier than a fake cockroach on your breakfast?

Have you tried the trickster activity? Leave a comment!

Be Well,
Stephanie Kennelly

7 replies
  1. Laura Gores
    Laura Gores says:

    I love this Blog. I think there are so many different ways to use this Trickster game and was having a little bit of a hard time wrapping my mind around how this could look for my groups. Seeing the pictures and having the ideas has sparked my brain a flowing! I am starting a middle school group and am motivated to roll this out for them! Thank you!


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