Any game can be more or less structured or free. Ludus is the quality of structure, rules, frameworks.

Dedocracia -- consensus decision-making with fingers.

Dedocracia is a pun I learned from activists from the Dominican Republic with whom I used to work. When someone designates the person who has to carry out a particular assignment -- by pointing at him/her rather than voting or reaching consensus -- it's a case of "dedocracia" (the rule of the finger).

But I have since learned about another form of dedocracia: five finger consensus, or "fist-to-five consensus-building." You can read about it here:

Broken Squares

Adapted from "Broken Squares": Preparing Students for Group Work, from Practicing Collaborative Learning, Maryann Feola Castelucci and Peter Miller, College of Staten Island, CUNY, Dept of English, Speech and World Literature, Winter 1986

My People -- poetry activity

Not a new idea, but a particular use of it that has worked very well. The activity revolves around a close reading of a poem by Langston Hughes, using an eraser…

In this activity participants memorize/study the following short poem by Langston Hughes.

My People

The night is beautiful.

So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful.

So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also, is the sun.

Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.


  • write the poem on a blackboard
  • ask everyone to read it silently