Finger pointing in air playing Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift

Quick, engaging exercise to explore different perspectives.

  • Simple
  • Intriguing
  • Inspires powerful metaphors
  • No props

Step-by-Step Instructions

How To Play Narrative

Practical Leadership Tips

Social-Emotional Learning

Health & Wellness Programming

Popular Variations

Virtual Adaptation

You Might Also Like...

Useful Framing Ideas

Reflection Tips & Strategies


Contributor Mark

Add your Comments...

Have you played this activity? What worked, what didn't work? What type of group? Do you have useful advice for other users? Do you know a fun variation?

Comments (7)

  1. Chris Ortiz

    Small tip that can help… When you ask them to move their hands in that clockwise direction… do so with your palm facing you. When your hand is above you that is not the “natural” way but as you try to lower your hand it is very natural. I think some people who extend their pointer finger above them with the palm away feels natural… then as they lower the hand… it is difficult to maintain the motion so they “switch” accidentally. Just a thought that has helped me in this one.

    • Mark

      Great tip, Chris – much appreciated. I’ll update the instructions accordingly 🙂

  2. Susan McKenzie

    I am having the same question as Irene. It appears to be going clockwise no matter the perspective: looking up or down.

    • Mark

      Susan, thanks for commenting – it is not possible for your finger (hand) to continue in the same (clockwise) direction if you view it from below and then above this movement. Feel free to reach out for a brief Zoom call and I’d be happy to demonstrate exactly how it looks.

    • calfaotilia

      Hello Susan,

      I had some challenges too. When you look at your finger from below it is going to move clockwise, but if lower your hand enough to see it from above, your finger will move anticlockwise. When you lower your hand you need to see your finger from above for observing the ilusion. Your finger needs to be low enough that you will look at it from above (watching how the fingertip moves – for anti clockwise ilusion). Hope this will help you.

  3. prosivendola

    Hi Mark, I have tried myself and do not seem to get it “right”, maybe I am not interpreting well the otherwise easy instructions. Do you maybe have a video of how the activity goes? thanks!

    • Mark

      Irene, I do not presently have a video of the full activity at this point, sorry. I know that would make a difference. The key is that your audience will discover that their finger will “appear” to have changed direction because their perspective of how they view their rotating finger has changed. They started by looking up and underneath their rotating finger (spinning clockwise) and then as they lowered it and finally started to view it from above, they should note that their finger is rotating anti-clockwise – again, because their perspective has shifted.

No Props No Problem

Brand NEW book featuring 150+ outrageously fun group games & activities. Scan QR codes to connect to tons of digital content including video tutorials.

Add to Cart

Do you have a programming question?

Looking for activity suggestions?

Want to know what others think?


Check out playmeo's new COMMUNITY tab.

Exclusive to playmeo members, this space is designed to help you share, learn & connect with others.