Summary: Get to know each other in this fun activity while learning about the importance of observation and nonverbal communication. Similar to Assassin/Plague.


  • Action Cards (print attachment, or make your own)


  1. Before playing, make sure Action Cards are either printed out/written out. Be sure to include 1 card that just reads “Activator.”
  2. Have everyone sit in a circle and close their eyes.
  3. Explain that each of them will be given a card that either has an action on it, or the word “Activator.”
    1. Facilitators should take note of who receives the Activator card.
    2. Consider giving shyer players less risky action cards.
    3. Tell players that they must keep their card a secret, so they don’t accidentally reveal themselves as the Activator.
  4.  Explain that in this game, the person with the Activator Card will be trying to get other players to perform the action on their cards (i.e. “activate” them) while the entire group walks around.
    1. The Activator can activate players in many different ways. Facilitators should pick one before the game starts. Examples include winking at players, sticking out their tongue at players (be wary of potentially hurt feelings with this in younger groups), or some other discrete action.
  5. Once activated, players must continue to repeat their action until the end of the game.
    1. Consider having volunteers play too, especially if some students in the group seem hesitant doing “silly” things.
  6. Non-activated players should walk around and attempt to figure out who the Activator is.
    1. You can do a one guess limit before the player must become activated for being incorrect.


  • Have students create their own action cards.
  • Play with more than one Activator and compare in the debrief.
  • Play with different methods of Activation (ex: winking vs. tongue sticking) and compare in the debrief.

Debrief Questions:

  • [Before playing for younger students] What does the word “Activator” mean?
  • [Before playing for older students] What does it mean to “observe”?
  • What was difficult about this game?
  • What did you look for when trying to figure out the Activator?
  • [For Activators] How did you try to avoid getting caught?

Activity Length: Short (<15 minutes)

Energy Level: High, Medium

Grade Level: 3rd, 4th, 5th

Group Size: Large (10+)