Feel Funky

Working with a group that was already familiar with my Feel Free mantra, I added another term: feel funky. I use them term the way Cornel West uses it, to capture creativity and energy born of the grit and grasp of reality, to suggest the freak and the insubordinate joy of life. Play P-Funk or Sun Ra or Mingus.


Give people a list of [musicians] and ask them to choose one person whose music they do not know. Their task is to find music by that person online, listen to it, choose one and post a link (or the video/audio itself) in the online group with a comment about the music. Players are then asked to listen to each other's chosen music and add their own comments, to which the original poster should reply.

You can add a layer by asking people to research the background of the musical piece or the musician and post a summary. This can be very good practice for simple citation.

The Marshmallow Challenge

You are, I am

In this game, which I learned from Sakiko Ishitsubo, people pair up and take turns closely observing each other, describing what they see. When person A says, "I see you are holding the zipper pull on your jacket." Person B repeats the description, "I am holding the zipper pull on my jacket." In this way each observation is stated and verified. There is no strict sequence, players can shift back and forth as they like. The goal is to observe each other closely, to describe what you see, and to verify the observations.

Me --> You (recognition game)

Reverse Google Translation Poetry Slam

Idea for an activity:

Take a text, in another language, that you love (poem, song, whatever).

Use Google translate to translate it to English.

If the result is sufficiently strange, copy it, reduce it, and perform it like a poem at a poetry slam.

If the result is too normal, try translating the translated version into a different language, then from that language into English, or into another language -- repeat until you have freed the words from the original text.

Dating Game

The idea is to start a discussion of a famous person (or text, artwork, etc) using the Dating Game format.

There are three roles: the Joker (emcee), the player, the potential dates.

The flow:
The player sits separated from the three potential dates.
The joker introduces the player.
The joker then asks the dates to introduce themselves in one sentence that will be attractive to the player.
The player then proceeds to ask questions, to one date at a time, trying to find the one who sounds best.

John Cage's Ten Rules

From the great Open Culture website. http://www.openculture.com/2014/04/10-rules-for-students-and-teachers-po...

These rules can be used in many ways:

  • As one big prompt for a writing activity;
  • As individual prompts for a writing activity;
  • As prompts for role plays or speeches;
  • As propositions to debate...

They are great to use for thinking about innovation, creativity, education, any kind of self-directed work.
RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for a while.