Arrange the participants in chairs in a circle with one less chair than people. Larger groups may need multiple circles. Have the person without a chair stand in the middle. They are to call out a sentence that describes him or herself. Examples: People wearing a red sweatshirt. People with blonde hair. People that play an instrument. Any person who also fits that description must stand up and switch chairs with other people who fit that description. The person standing in the middle must also try to sit in a vacant chair. There will be one person left. They now call out a sentence that is self-descriptive but that also would apply to other people so that a chair becomes vacant for them. If the statement describes only the person in the middle they can choose another statement or do an ‘everybody move’ by calling out Shamrock Shuffle and everyone must change places. At any point, you as the moderator can call out “Shamrock Shuffle”. Let them continue to rotate through the middle for as long as time allows.
Note: The ‘everyone move’ command can be named anything appropriate to the season or the environment and it becomes the name of the game as well.
To process the activity, ask these or similar questions:
- Was that fun? Energizing?
- Was it hard to come up with a statement about yourself?
- Were you surprised at how many times you had to move or didn’t get to move?
- Did you learn anything about those around you?
- Did the activity give you an appreciation for both our sameness and diversity?
How To Accommodate for Virtual
Read the original activity then apply these changes. Note: Everyone needs to know how to turn their camera on and off and have their screen view be one of all participants.
The activity starts with everyone with their camera off except for the “person in the middle”. The person calls out a quality and if that applies to you, you turn your camera on. The person picks from those that appeared trying to pick someone who hasn’t had a turn in the middle. Everyone but the new person in the middle turns their camera off and play continues.
The actual shuffle is a little awkward but still doable. When this is called, everyone will turn their camera on and off repeatedly so that the screen is blinking with pictures. Whoever called the Shamrock Shuffle will call stop after about 5 – 7 seconds. When a stop is called everyone stops with their camera. Some will be left on and others will still be off. The person then gets to pick from the people with their camera on, trying to choose someone who hasn’t gone yet. If you feel that this is too awkward for your audience, then it can be left out of the game.
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How did this activity go when you used it in your group? Did you make any modifications that worked better for you? Share your experience below!