Class Management, Drama and Dance, The Arts

Drama: The Ball Toss Name Game

Drama: The Ball Toss Name Game

This classic game is a great way to break the ice while keeping students active.

The Basic Game

1. Students stand in a circle.
2. Give a ball to one player who calls his/her name and tosses the ball to someone else in the circle.
3. The ball continues to be passed, ensuring that all become familiar with names.
4. Repeat the activity. This time, students start with their hands folded in front of them. After tossing the ball to someone else in the circle, students place their hands behind their backs. In this way, each person passes (and receives) the ball once.
5. The activity is repeated once again, following the sequence of passing the ball. Draw the students’ attention to the pattern that has been established. This especially comes in handy for Extension C (see below).

Game Extensions


A. Challenge students to complete the activity in a time limit.
B. Students pass the ball, but don’t call out names.
C. The pattern of passing the ball is reversed. The ball is passed from last person to first.
D. Two balls are passed, one using the original pattern and one using the reverse pattern.
E. Students find a new spot in the circle. The game is repeated.
F. Add up to five additional balls.

The preceding was adapted from Drama Schemes, Themes & Dreams by Larry Swartz and Debbie Nyman, published by Pembroke Publishers

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