Author: Deb Avery | Published on 2 January 2023


Read what a teacher says about this activity:

My primary learners sometimes need to be reminded to be kind to one another. I use this circle game to help them think about the good things in everyone. It also helps them to be sensitive to those who might feel lonely. Circle games mean that the learners have to think about other people and not just themselves.

Stage 1: Prepare

Prepare pieces of blank paper, so that each learner can have a piece. This can be scrap paper.

Fold the paper using a fan fold, and then open it out again.

You will only need to do this the first time you play the game. After this the learners will know how to do it.

Stage 2: Discuss

Talk to the class about what it means to be a member of the class. You may need to use the learners’ mother tongue

Say: ‘In this class we all belong together. We are not all the same but we all belong. How does that make us feel?’ Elicit positive words about belonging e.g. safe, happy, strong, etc.

Ask: ‘How do you feel if you don’t belong?’ Elicit words like lonely, sad, afraid, etc 

Explain that the things which others say can make us feel as though we do or don’t belong to the group.

Stage 3: Brainstorm

Ask: ‘What kind things can we say to others to help them feel as though they belong?’

Give some examples:

  • I like the way you share your books
  • Your smile makes me feel happy
  • You always help the teacher
  • I like your friendly laugh

You might write some of the suggestions on the board.

Stage 4: Write

If your class is large, divide the class into groups of about ten. The learners should sit in a circle.

Say: ‘Write this sentence at the top of your page: My name is …  When I say go, pass your paper to the person on your right.’

Give learners time to write their names. Then give the instruction ‘Go.’ Learners pass their paper to the person on their right.

Say: ‘Read the name on the paper. Write a sentence about that person. Remember to say kind things. Fold the paper so that the name shows and your sentence is hidden.’

Learners should pull up a fold in the paper so that their own sentence is hidden but the name at the top is still visible. Demonstrate how to fold the paper.

Repeat the instructions: 

  1. Pass the paper to the right.
  2. Read the name
  3. Write a sentence
  4. Fold the paper

Allow the learners to continue until the paper gets back to the owner.

Ask: ‘Have you got your own paper back? Write this sentence at the bottom. I belong!’ 

Stage 5: Share

Say: ‘Read all the sentences on your paper.  Do you feel as though you belong?’

Allow some learners to share how they feel.

Say: ‘We all belong together.  Let’s say it out loud. I belong!’

Younger learners can write single words or draw pictures of why they appreciate their classmates. They can also write in their mother tongue. You may wish to make smaller groups if you are short of time. It is possible to do this sitting at desks if there is no room to sit in a circle.


Brainstorm: To suggest ideas quickly, before then considering them more carefully.

Circle game: a group activity to make all students participate

Elicit: How a teacher gets information from learners, e.g. asking questions, prompting.

Mother tongue: The language learned from birth