Moving Desks Meets White Elephant
A few weeks ago, my kids were asking, nay begging, to move desks. It was a stall tactic-something to get out of the current work at hand. Usually I crush the insurgency with my iron fist, but I was I was in a pretty good mood that morning, so I decided to have a bit of fun with it.
Of course, they wanted to sit by their friends. My brain raced-how to make them happy while having fun and still not creating complete chaos in the seating arrangement? Enter: the White Elephant.
You may have played this game around Christmas with a gift giving theme. All the gifts go in the middle of the group, and the first person chosen gets to pick a gift. The next person chosen can pick a new gift, or they can ‘steal’ the gift the first person picked. The third person chosen has the same two options-pick a new gift from the pile, or steal a gift from person 1 or 2.
I always keep a small bucket on my front table with all the students’ names on popsicle sticks in it-out came the bucket and the first student was chosen.
They could pick anywhere in the classroom to sit. Without moving their desk or ‘stuff’ yet, they then got up from their seat and moved to that place. That person then got to pick where they were going to sit-a new seat, or the seat person 1 had chosen. If they picked a new seat, I picked another stick out of the bucket to see who went next. If they stole a seat, that person got to pick a new seat again. This went on until all the students had the chance to pick a seat.
Once all students were seated in the chairs of their new spots, they were allowed to get up and physically move their desks all at once.
It was pretty funny to see students super excited to sit next to their best friend, only to have their seat stolen by another student in the class.
The bargaining and begging going on was classic, and it made for great entertainment. Some besties still ended up next to each other, but they’ve actually been pretty great. I probably wouldn’t do this every time we switch seats, but it was a fun way to switch things up and let students have a say in their seats for once. 😉