Crossing the Line is a group activity that has a very strong impact on both children and adults. It is a quiet, meaningful experience of recognizing our similarities, and is a great way to reinforce a sense of community within your class. We use it most often with teens.
Stress and anxiety are often caused or made worse by the feeling that we are alone in the world—that no one understands us or what we are going through, and that no one has had the same experiences we have had. Although sometimes this is true, usually there are many other people going through similar challenges. Knowing this can be a very reassuring and calming force in our lives. This is a group activity best done with eight or more people.
Begin this activity by dividing into two groups and having people form two rows facing each other, about eight feet apart. Place a line (using string, masking tape, etc.) about three feet in front of each group.
There should be one person who is the caller or director. When that person says a statement, anyone for whom that statement is true crosses the line into the middle. When you cross the line, take a moment to silently make eye contact with the other people in the middle, acknowledging your shared experience.
This game can be as simple or as meaningful as you choose to make it. The following statements are just suggestions, and you should change or add to them based on the needs of your group. Be sensitive to any issues that may arise, and carefully match your choice of statements to your capacity to support anyone in the class who may be upset by them.
Some Suggestions: Cross the line if you _________
Have brown hair
Can wiggle your ears
Love to read
Are an artist
Were born in New York
Like to play sports
Feel peaceful today
Have helped someone this week
Speak more then one language
Are a big sister
Feel beautiful today
Have been embarrassed ever
Have made someone feel bad
Have been afraid of another person
Have done something you are ashamed of
Have done something you are proud of
Have hugged someone today
Have cried this week