Big fish, small fish

I’ve discovered a new workshop warm-up game recently, a circle game called Big Fish, Small Fish. It’s very quick, and quite silly, but I’ve found that it lightens everyone’s moods and at the same time creates a good focus among the group.

To teach it, get everyone to copy these two moves – they can say “Big Fish!” and hold their two hands together very close (about 10cm apart), or “Small Fish!” and hold their hands wide apart (about 60cm). Each person says one of these two (with the correct gesture) one by one around the circle. If someone makes a mistake (eg. says “Big Fish!” and holds their hands wide apart), they need to perform some kind of forfeit. The last few groups have suggested doing push-ups or star jumps in the centre of the circle.

Big Fish, Small Fish appears simple enough, but it’s a little more complex than it seems. It usually takes the first person after me a couple of attempts to get it right.

But it also produces lots of smiles and relaxed faces. I played it with all three classes at the Language School today. With Lower Primary, where there are quite a few new students, I wondered if it was a bit too tricky – did these children even know what the words ‘big’ and ‘small’ meant? Was I confusing them for the next few weeks? I am not sure how exactly they made sense of the game; however, judging from the cheeky smiles of delight on their faces when they pronounced the words and held their hands in the opposite shape, I think they may well have understood the joke.

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