Silent Opera

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Communication | Collaboration | Team Strategy

Group Size


10 – 20 Various Objects (Dog Toys, Cones, Balls, etc.), 1 Blindfold, 1 Rope, Activity Description

Set Up

Select one volunteer to be blindfolded (this person will be "the collector") and one volunteer to give vocal instructions. The remaining members of the group are not allowed to speak. Set up the room and position participants according to the diagram below.


This activity works on alternative methods of communication. Inform the group that the blindfolded member cannot speak, but will need to be told what to do in order to accomplish a given task. The person in the middle can only look at the large group but must tell the blindfolded member what to do. The large group will know the task and must communicate that to the middle person without speaking and without crossing the barrier represented by the rope. Lastly, inform the large group of the task (the more specific the task, the more challenging). Tasks may include: collect as many objects as possible or collect specific objects (by color, shape, type, etc.)


multiple collectors

Also known as "Eyes, Mouth, Body," this exercise can work well with only one person in each spot. For younger kids (elementary age), consider starting with only 1 item to collect.

When you have a large group, break them into two teams and have them compete for the best time in 3 heats.
Heat 1 - Easy = objects fairly accessible and close together; Order of collection, to be determined by team.
Heat 2 - Hard = objects far apart and must be collected in a certain order.
Heat 3 - Very Hard = Objects far apart and collected in a certain order; Place white paper squares on the floor and surround Objects to be collected, with noncollectable items. Tell teams if they touch an item not intended or touch a white square, there is a 30 Second penalty.

Debrief Questions

What feelings came up during that activity? What strategies did you use to communicate? Which were most successful, and why? Which role do you think would be the most challenging (i.e. being blindfolded)? Why? What might be the purpose of this activity? What can we learn from this activity about communication (in our classroom, in our organization, etc)?


Silent opera diagram