Rock Paper Scissors, Cheer!

Play, cheer, and connect in a game that builds teamwork and kindness through every round!
Ages 11-18 / 15
min Activity
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  • Play a variation of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” that emphasizes positive sportsmanship and collaboration as students cheer for their peers during the game 
  • Reflect on broader values such as kindness and empathy, and consider ways to apply these values to other parts of their school and personal lives

Supporting Research

Research shows that ice-breakers are an effective way to promote interactions between participants, increase solidarity, and create a safe and welcoming community. During this game, educators should encourage students to practice mindfulness and diplomacy as they manage their own emotions around losing or winning, and are sensitive towards others’ emotions throughout the game (e.g., by cheering for others). 

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.


Activity Partners

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  1. Explain the rules of the game:
    • Each student should find a partner. 
    • Partners play a single round of “Rock, Paper, Scissors”. 
    • The student who wins the round becomes a “guide”, and they should find another guide to play against (i.e., someone who also won the previous round). The student who loses the game becomes the guide’s “supporter”. 
    • Supporters should follow their guide around, and cheer enthusiastically for them as they play subsequent rounds. 
    • When someone loses a round, all of their supporters must now follow the new guide as well. 
    • The game will end when there are only two guides left, with the rest of the class supporting one of them. Encourage the entire group to gather around the final two guides and create a supportive atmosphere where everyone cheers for both participants!
  2. After the game, ask the following questions to invite students to reflect on their experience:
    • What are some emotions that you experienced throughout the game (as a guide or supporter)? 
    • How did you approach cheering for someone you just lost to?
    • Reflect on a moment when you felt particularly encouraged or uplifted by a supporter. How did this moment affect you? 
    • How did the energy of the group change as more students became supporters?
    • How does this game relate to values of collaboration, kindness, and empathy? What are some ways to apply these values to other aspects of our school and personal lives?
  3. After the reflection, consider playing the game again so that students can more intentionally practice mindfulness and diplomacy, as well as values around collaboration, kindness, and empathy.

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.