Labels

Supplies:
Nametags

Instructions:
It’s important that you play this game once you know the group well, and leave lots of time for debrief and reflection. Prepare nametags in advance with both good and bad labels (examples: teacher’s pet, homeless, popular, good at math, wears glasses, athlete, gossip, rich, bully, etc.)

Begin by talking about the different labels people carry with them, and the positive and/or negative message these labels can send. Then give each person a label by sticking a nametag to his or her back. Once everyone has a nametag, the group should mingle, trying to figure out what label they have been given. People should act as if they are first meeting each other, and treat each other according to the labels on their backs. You might want to remind players that the way they are being treated in the game is not personal, everyone is playing a role. Give the group a couple minutes to mingle before gathering them in a circle to talk about the game. Thank players for participating and ask them to guess what their label was. When everyone has had a chance to guess, have them take their labels off and see if they were correct.

Debrief Questions:
How did you help others guess their labels? Was it hard to behave like certain labels? Is it okay to have multiple labels in life? Are labels helpful or hurtful? How did it feel to have others talk to you according to your label?