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. This activity allows for playful exploration, perfect for high energy days!

Here are some tips for adding some interest to your weekly literacy lesson and integrating the text connection 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 get bodies grounded before you begin. We have mapped out sequences for releasing, grounding and calming. Then, call out the name of a trickster, like “Anansi” and watch everyone transform into cunning spiders, scurrying along the floor. I like to use a drum as a cue to start and stop movement. When the drum starts playing, movement starts. The slow, steady beat helps bodies stay regulated and in 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 this follow along video to reset the room.

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 a photograph into the illustration can encourage reluctant writers!

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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