This game is called The Atom Game. Children run around the gym in all sorts of directions. The teacher calls out “Atom___” and a number. Whichever number is called, the children have to get into groups of that number. For example, the teacher calls “Atom 6!” and the children get into groups of 6. Those left out of a group are out.
A visitor has added the following suggestion:
I believe this activity could help increase inclusion in the classroom. Instead of looking for their friends, the students must quickly find others to form the group, or they will be out. This may help form other friendly relationships in the class. This sounds great to me and could help with forming teams for other activities.
Ian D AJS says…
This is a great activity!
You could introduce rules like… children cannot go with someone who has been in the same group as them, or there has to be at least one boy and girl in each group?
Children who are ‘out’ could jog on the edge of the playing area – after every round, some children, who are jogging sensibly, could come back in, which would mean they are still active at all times!
Another visitor explains that…
I haven’t used this as an elimination game, but it’s great for getting pupils into teams before another activity – if you do it with a few different numbers first.
Lindie Pretorius suggested the following variation…
Another variety is called Sticky Popcorn. They all bounce around the room/field, and when a number is called, they stick together in groups of that number. They can also continue bouncing/jumping while they are ‘stuck’ together.
Ryan W says…
To further the inclusion of others, get the children to introduce themself to each other (give them 30 seconds) and then go up to the group and ask one of the students to name another student of your choosing. If they get it wrong, they have a fun punishment (jumping jacks, running on the spot etc.)
Colin S shared the following…
A great way to make this even more physical, and keep everyone in the game, is to have the kids create an object or setting with their bodies. For example, after you call Atom 2, in their pairs, you tell them to make a tree with their bodies and freeze. They have to remember who they made the tree with and where (it comes back later). They walk around the space again, and you call another number, say Atom 4: then have them create a pirate ship with their bodies, ask them to remember it, and continue. Then, when you have done a number of objects (I usually have 3-6 body creations), you call them out in a random order, and they have to run back and create the same shapes with the same people in the same place they were before. You can have fun with this part: go through them all, then jump really quickly between them until they’re running around trying to keep up! Great fun.