As I am getting ready for the workshop Part II: 90% Plus: Staying in the Target Language while Building Community and deciding on which brain breaks to do, I started writing a list to share with teachers. I also recently listened to the Inspired Proficiency podcast Episode on Brain Breaks and during Ashley and Annabelle‘s conversation, Annabelle said to write all your brain breaks on a poster to post in your classroom. I can’t believe I never have done that before! What a great idea! I find myself sometimes going to the same ones so what a great way to quickly choose something different.
Here is a list of Brain Breaks with a brief description along with links to videos (if available) that I have done all in the target language (using lots of modeling and simplified language)! I know I have more, but these are all I can think of right now (hence why I need to create a poster soon). Thanks to Annabelle aka la Maestra Loca for making videos of some of your brain breaks which I included below for the ones I have done and to Ashley for sharing on one of the podcast episodes the Air Draw game (so fun!).
Click here for a previous blog I wrote about Don Musical’s videos as for Spanish teachers these cup games, hand claps, and table taps are excellent brain breaks. Also, here is another blog post I did where I included a PowerPoint to download with some images to support the Pico Cebolla and Chocolate brain breaks.
- Back to Back – start w/ pairs, increase to groups – sit down/stand up back to back, arms hooked
- Knee Tag – round 1: in pairs, feet can’t move, round 2: in pairs, feet can move, round 3: feet can move and can hit anyone’s knees https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asbgD6vsjfM
- Gotcha – round 1: small groups round 2: entire class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJCGGNc0qcw
- Shoot 11 – On count of three hold up a set of fingers. As a team try to get the sum of 11. When you get 11 as a team, move to 10, then 9, etc.
- Air Drawing – With partner, try to draw in the air the fastest – numbers 1-20, alphabet, words said by teacher, etc.
- Just Dance Videos in the TL – those who do not like dancing, at least move arms
- Double Double This This Hand Clap – do with 4 syllable words or phrases (mariposa, chocolate, dime dime sí sí, dime dime no,no, etc.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQXyLdtlf4w
- Chocolate Hand Clap by Don Musical: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEOoHApBJgo
- Extreme/Full Body Rock Paper Scissors – use whole body for the 3 moves, loser goes behind the winner and cheers on, keep going until only 2 people left and rest cheering one of the 2 on. (see this video for the motions and another way to play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqxcZK8hXYQ)
- Evolution – Egg > Chicken > Dinosaur > Dragon > Superman. All start out as eggs, they play paper rock scissors and winner moves to chicken. Can only play with your same type (chicken with chicken, dragon with dragon), loser moves down and winner evolves to next. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Cpt14dKQlI
- Tombstone/Splat –form circle, person in middle who calls on a name points, that person ducks down and two people by their side try to be first to turn, point and cry “splat” or “bang” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZEJBiUKA-U
- Pico Cebolla – show phrases w/ actions, then play music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRoAN4YJS08
- Rhythm on Desk by Don Musical – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds6IWWmz9m4
- Cup Game with partner by Don Musical – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrne7UdqsfI and https://balancingmodes.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/descansos-cerebrales-juegos-de-vasos/
- Oh Susana with Cups – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6zBJz_Dj0s
- El Baile del Chipi Chipi – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKSSARPMe5E
- Back to Back Countdown – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeN7tDWW0pI
- Musical Chairs – play music in TL, keep removing chairs until down to two
- Simon Says – teacher or student says commands
Cover Image from: Edmentum