In advance, wrap a piece of coloured-tape on one section of a hula-hoop.
Standing in a circle, ask your group to hold one or both hands on the hoop.
Explain that you would like the group to rotate the hoop in one continuous direction.
Each time the coloured-tape passes through an individual’s hands, they are invited to quickly share their response to a question you pose.
Allow the hoop to pass around the circle one or more times.
Ask more questions, repeating the process, or move on.
Video Transcript for Hula-Hoop Debrief
presented by Nate Folan
So come on in try and grab, hold the hoop with both hands.
We’re going to take a brief moment and then a brief break after the brief moment. Can we all fit? You made it, Kristen like I’m in.
(Yup I’m good.)
So practice just shuffling to hoop without it breaking. So shuffle to the right, through your hands. Nice.
(Group shuffle the hoop.)
Stop. Shuffle left. Cool, everyone see the blue? Everyone find the blue?
Great, it might be hidden at times, it might pop at times. That’s going to be our indicator of who’s speaking when. The idea is to be brief, but reflecting on your morning so far in Chicken Baseball, Hula-Hoop pass, Circle the Circle, this is what we did for the seventh-inning stretch, and then Hoop Baseball or the Olympic Baseball version.
We would love for you to capture that spirit, what it was for you, how you might describe it in about one word as the blue passes you.
Now, no need to be frantic and say “Agh, here comes the blue” and I’m not ready, you can just pass by letting it pass when it comes to you.
We’ll do at least another orbit so everyone has a chance to say something, but don’t feel like you’re on the spot or you’re pressured. Let it flow when it comes to you. Okay? So let’s start shuffling left. When the blue’s on you, one word to describe the morning so far, your experience.
First thing you want to do is get your hands on a hula-hoop. If it is a solid (one-piece) hoop, wrap a piece of coloured-tape on one section of the hoop. Or, if you can access a segmented hoop, swap in a different coloured piece to identify the marker.
Ask your group to gather around the hula-hoop, placing one or both of their hands on the hoop. Approx 10 to 15 people to fit around a regular-sized hoop.
Explain that you would like the group to rotate the hoop in one continuous direction (it doesn’t matter which way.) Announce that each time the marker (eg blue segment or taped section of the hoop) passes through an individual’s hands, this person is invited to quickly share their response to a question.
Pose your question, motion for the hula-hoop to start rotating, and allow the sharing to commence.
Often, the sharing will be fast and furious as the hoop is energetically shifted between people’s hands. Expect people to sometimes talk over one another, and this is OK.
This exercise aims to generate energy for sharing, and you’ll no doubt pick up little morsels of useful information before the group runs out of energy or ideas.
Pose more questions, and repeat the process, or move on. Or, invite your group to elaborate on any particular topic you believe would be useful to the group’s process.
Practical Leadership Tips
Take a look at Useful Debriefing Tips to learn about the benefits of processing your group’s experience, and how to run a successful debrief.
Simply tying a ribbon or piece of string to the hoop is unlikely to work because the ribbon or string will invariably move.
If you have a large group, use a rope with its two ends tied together, and invite contributions from those whom pass the knot through their hands. Or, form two or more small groups each with their own hula-hoop.
You could integrate Hula Hoop Debrief as part of a well-designed SEL program to develop your group’s ability to understand their emotions, thoughts and values and how these influence their behaviours in different situations.
Specifically, this activity offers opportunities to explore and practice the following social & interpersonal skills:
Linking Feelings, Values & Thoughts
Identifying Personal, Cultural & Linguistic Assets
You can learn more about SEL and how it can support character education here.
Health & Wellness Programming
Opportunities to reflect and express oneself as part of a debrief or reflection activity are ideal for inviting members of your group to process what they are thinking. Often this will involve identifying feelings and emotions, and certainly analysing certain situations. To this end, some valuable social skills can be practised such as responsible decision-making, organisational skills and accurate self-perception. Also, given the structure of this reflection technique, one must also be self-disciplined to wait their turn not to mention have respect for others when it is their turn to speak.
Surprise: Randomly stop the passing of the hoop, and invite whoever has their hands on or closest to the coloured-tape to respond.
Rope Circle: Use a rope with it’s two end tied together, and invite responses when the knot passes through an individual’s hands. See Pass The Knot for more details.
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Useful Framing Ideas
It may sound like…
“YOU’LL NOTICE THAT A BLUE PIECE OF TAPE HAS BEEN WRAPPED AROUND ONE SECTION OF THIS HULA-HOOP. IN A MOMENT, I WOULD THE GROUP TO START PASSING THE HOOP THROUGH ITS HANDS IN A CLOCK-WISE DIRECTION, AND EACH TIME THE BLUE TAPE PASSES THROUGH YOUR INDIVIDUAL HANDS, I WOULD LIKE YOU TO QUICKLY MAKE A RESPONSE TO THIS QUESTION … [pose your question…]. OK, ARE WE READY. START ROTATING THE HOOP…”