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Force the Circle


Divide everyone into groups of six to eight people. Ask each group to choose one person to be the ‘observer’ and a second to be the ‘outsider’.

Tell the other members of the group to stand shoulder to shoulder to form as tight a circle as possible so as not to leave any space between them. Explain that the ‘outsider’ must try to get into the circle while those who form the circle must try to keep them out.

Tell the observer to make notes on the strategies used by both the ‘outsider’ and those in the circle and also to act as time keeper.

After two or three minutes (depending on numbers), regardless of whether they managed to enter the circle or not, the ‘outsider’ joins the circle and another member has a turn. The activity is over once all the members of the group who want to have tried to force the circle.

Bring everyone together and discuss what happened and how it felt. Ask the participants:

  • How did it feel when you were part of the circle?
  • How did it feel when you were the ‘outsider’?
  • If you succeeded in forcing the circle, how did it make you feel?
  • Ask the observers about the strategies the ‘outsiders’ used and those that the people in the circle used to prevent the others from getting in.
  • Ask everyone for real life situations when they feel an ‘outsider’ or a minority and when do they appreciate feeling part of the group of the majority. In our society, who are the strongest groups? And who are the weakest?

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