#1330. The Human Knot

Phys Ed, level: all
Posted Sat Oct 2 04:58:20 PDT 1999 by Thad Schmenk (thadsensei@hotmail.com).
Matsuyama JHS, Japan
Materials Required: none
Activity Time: about 15 minutes
Concepts Taught: Team Building

The Human Knot:


1. The students will practice cooperative learning skills.
2. The students will find a solution to the group's "knot".


Ask a group of 6 or more people (even numbers works best) to form a circle. Each person should hold out their right hand and grab the right hand of the person cross from them as though the two were shaking hands. Then each person should hold hands (left hands) with a person standing next to them. Each person should be holding hands with two different people.

Goal of the Game:

The goal of this warm up is for the students to untangle themselves from their situation so that a human circle is formed.


The physical hand to hand contact that you have with your partner cannot be broken in order to facilitate an "unwinding movement". Sometimes the people in the final circle will end up facing alternating directions. This is OK.

If the group has been struggling with a knot for a long time, offer "Knot First Aid." Let the students decide amongst the group, which grip needs first aid. This pair of hands may then be temporarily undone and re-gripped in order to help the group.