To begin, present a few rounds of Your Add to warm-up your group.
Within a large, open playing space, designate three or four areas as belonging to well-known cities or countries of the world, eg New York, Tokyo, Sydney, etc.
Ask each person to stand in the area belonging to that city or country that they’d like to visit the most.
Each person aims to travel to each of the designated cities/countries in a clockwise direction as often as possible within two minutes.
To move from one city/country to the next, a person must win a quick game of Your Add involving any person standing in the same area.
The ‘winner’ is permitted to advance clockwise to the next city, while the ‘loser’ will remain in the same area and engage a new, random person in a new round of Your Add.
The person who completes the most number of rotations (of all areas) within the allotted time is declared the winner.
Video Transcript for Around The World
presented by Mark Collard
I would like you to note that I’ve created on the ground three particular places. There’s a place over there with a white rope, there’s one over here with a yellow rope, and one behind me effectively with a red rope.
In a moment but not yet I’m going to ask you to move to one of those three places but it’s according to your favourite holiday destination. So give me an example. If you had a business class ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? Just give me one example.
Europe. What part?
Italy. Okay, great. So Italy is the white rope. So in a moment if you would love to go to Italy, if you’ve only got one of three choices, you’ll be standing over there. Give us another choice.
Whereabouts would be snowy?
Japan. Great. Japan is yellow. So we now have Italy and Japan. Give us somewhere in the southern hemisphere.
Brazil I heard, or we could have Antarctica. We’ll go Brazil, and Brazil is now behind the red. So to repeat we have Italy behind the white, we have Japan behind the yellow, and Brazil behind the red.
In a moment but not yet I’m going to ask you to move to one of those three places. So just think now for a second if you had a choice which holiday destination would you go to? Go off now and stand behind that point.
In the 1950s there was a very famous film called “Around the World in 80 Days”. In this game I’m going to invite you to go around the world in 80 seconds, and the only way you get to move from your current country always moving in a clockwise direction. Those with digital watches, it means that direction.
So you folks are going to go from Brazil to Japan, Japan goes to Italy, Italy comes to Brazil. That is one rotation. So remember where you started. Your objective is to go around this world as many times as possible in 80 seconds, I’m going to be doing the timing, which raises the question, how do I move from one country to the next?
Employing the highly refined skill of Your Add.
At any time you are in a country with any other person, eye them off, say set, your hands quickly dart behind your back. Then will then say go. First person to correctly add the fingers gets to move from their country quickly to the other country.
So if I happen to win I’ll be here. I’ll do a quick Your Add. I race over here. As soon as I get here I look for anyone here who’s here, next duel. If I win again I move. If you happen to not be as successful at winning as the other person, stay where you are and just find another person to have another duel with. At some point you will win and it’ll allow you to move.
Okay? Remember where you are, Brazil, Italy, and Japan. You have 80 seconds on the clock. Unless there’s any questions, go!
(people playing Around The World
Ten seconds. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Hold it there. Stop. Ding ding ding.
Alright, now understanding that there are some competitive elements in this group I know I can’t move on until at least I ask the question, how many rotations of the world did you manage in 80 seconds.
So anyone… keep you hand up if you got… went around at least once. Keep your hand up if you went around twice around the world. Three times around the world. Four times around the world. Go back to three. Little golf clap for those people. Well done. It means one of two things. One, you were just awfully lucky or two, you’re very good at finding people who aren’t good at math. Not sure what the case may be.
How To Play Narrative
To start, learn how to play Your Add, a fabulous partner game that pits one person against another in a quick game of addition. If you just told yourself, “Ugh, I’m not good at maths,” please take a look anyway – it’s much more fun that you think.
To warm-up your group, first divide them into pairs and introduce the basic elements of Your Add to help them practice their mathematical prowess for a few rounds.
Then, after a short while, and presuming you are situated in a large, open space (indoors or outdoors,) designate three or four areas as belonging to particularly famous or high-profile cities or countries of the world. For example, New York, Paris, Dubai, Sydney, Rio De Janeiro, Hong Kong, Cape Town, etc.
With these choices in mind, ask each person to stand in the area belonging to that city or country they’d like to visit the most. Typically, you will not achieve an even distribution of people, nor is this necessary. However, you do need at least two people in an area to get started.
Next, explain that each person has exactly two minutes to travel around the world as many times as possible. Suggest that all travel occurs in the same direction (eg clockwise,) so in effect, everyone is aiming to clock up as many rotations (of the world) as possible in the allotted time.
To explain how one moves, ask any two people situated in the same country to face-off in a Your Add duel, and the first person to call out the correct sum (of fingers) will be permitted to progress to the next city/country. Only one, sudden-death elimination round is necessary to record a result.
The ‘winner’ will then race to the next city/country and look for a new Your Add opponent (standing in that area,) while their most recent opponent will not move and look to attract a new mathematical foe to engage with.
Naturally, in an effort to rotate around all of the cities/countries as many times as possible, it will be necessary for each person to move quickly between each of the areas. Thus, how the heartbeats and energy of your group can be raised.
When the allotted time expires, stop the freneticism and allow your group to catch their breath. If interesting (or important,) check-in with your group to identify which person(s) achieved the most number of rotations around the world.
Practical Leadership Tips
I love to invite my group to suggest the cities or countries they’d like to visit the most. This also piques my interest to understand what parts of the world are the most attractive for people to visit.
Often, I will quip that recording the most number of rotations in a group means one of two things: (a) this person is very good at maths, or (b) this person is very good at finding people who are not good at maths.
If possible, situate the cities/countries as far apart as possible (think, different corners of a gymnasium or basketball court), necessitating lots of movement between the areas.
You could integrate Around The World into a well-designed SEL program to develop your group’s ability to manage healthy social interactions as much as enjoy an outrageously fun time with others.
Specifically, this activity offers opportunities to explore and practice the following social & interpersonal skills:
Anticipating & Evaluating the Consequences of One’s Actions
Promoting Personal & Collective Well-Being
You can learn more about SEL and how it can support character education here.
Health & Wellness Programming
There is no specific health & wellness perspective to this activity other than promoting the benefits to one’s wellbeing of enjoying a quick dose of physical exercise and a good laugh.
In a small way, you could argue that the interaction required of players to interact in a positive manner speaks to the benefits of developing healthy behavioural norms as much as how it intersects with goal-setting, eg demonstrating compassion for others when they consistently lose.
If you can think of more explicit ways in which Around The World could be purposefully integrated into a health and wellness program, please leave a comment at the base of this page.
Deck of Cards: Distribute a card from a regular deck of playing cards to each person. When two people face-off, they present their cards face-up at the same time, and the first person to call out the correct sum, is permitted to move to the next country. Picture cards – Jack, Queen, King – are valued at ten points each, or to make it more difficult, valued at 11, 12, and 13 points each. Jokers and Aces can be valued at whatever.
Dice: Place several sets of dice within the boundaries of each country. Two people roll a die each at the same time (on floor or table, etc) and the first person to announce the correct sum, wins and gets to move forward.
UBUNTU Cards: Distribute an UBUNTU card to each person. The first person to identify and announce the matching object, wins, and is permitted to move to the next country.
Word Play: On some appointed signal, each person is entitled to call out a three- to seven-letter word (or turn-over a random flashcard with these single words on them). The first person to sum the total of all of the letters, wins, and is permitted to move to the next country.
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Useful Framing Ideas
There was a film made in 1956 that suggested that it was possible to fly around the world in a hot-air balloon in 80 days. Did you see it? These days, in jet-powered airliners, it’s possible to travel to around the globe in less than a couple of days. This next exercise will invite you to travel between several countries in minutes rather than days…
Do you enjoy travelling? What are your favourite destinations? Imagine if you could travel between then all in a matter of seconds. This next activity makes it possible, especially if you’re good at sums…
Reflection Tips & Strategies
Coupled with one or more reflection strategies, here are some sample questions you could use to process your group’s experience after playing this fun energiser game:
How many rotations of the ‘world’ did you accomplish? What does this mean?
How did it feel to win several rounds in a row?
How did it feel to lose several rounds in a row? What did you tell yourself?
What strategies did you employ to help you win? Was this fair to your opponent?
The inspiration for this adaptation of the popular energiser game Your Add was created in 2015 when a group of teachers I was working with in China challenged me to create a maths game that would involve lots of interaction and movement. Both the Maths and Physical Education teachers loved it.