Triggers: A Game of Reactions
Set up: The game starts with everyone sitting or standing in a circle.
Instructions: Everyone then comes up with a “trigger and reaction,” but does not yet tell what the they are. A trigger is a reaction that is “triggered” by another action. For example, let’s say your reaction is to do five jumping jacks. You can only react when you see your trigger happen. Let’s say your trigger is a guy moving his feet. So, every time a guy moves his feet, you have to do five jumping jacks.
Here’s the catch: The trigger and reaction you come up with is not for you. It’s for the person to your left. Whatever you tell the person to your left is what they have to do. It’s a secret between you two. Take this time to reveal the trigger and reaction (ie: every time a girl touches her hair, you have to shout, “Halleluah!”). Make sure no one else can hear.
Object of the game: Figure out what everyone else’s trigger is. The goal is to stay in the game as long as possible. Once someone figures out your trigger, you’re out, but you can still guess. You can designate a place for students who are out to sit or stand, or have the students sit down when they’re trigger is guessed.
Guessing and game play: After you say start, everyone should do their triggers. It’ll be a little chaotic, especially if you have a big group. Let the round go for about a minute or two, then call pause. Allow this time for people to guess triggers around the circle. If a trigger is guessed, then that person is out. Once the guesses have stopped, start another round. Rounds can last between one-two minutes each.
Ending the game: The game ends when all triggers are guessed or until you are out of time. If not all triggers are guessed, go around the circle and have everyone reveal what their trigger and reaction were.
You have the option of setting parameters for what triggers the students can use. For example, you can make the theme “Bible stories” and have the students only use actions or phrases from the Bible. Other themes could be Christmas, Easter, Silence (where no one can speak; it’s all action based), Animals, etc.