Friday, June 4, 2010

An activity that will be a lifesaver

Today at the BHC, I had a plan prepared for one of the units. I spent the morning putting it together, copying songs to a playlist on the computer. With 15 minutes to go-time, I plugged in the iPod only to find that the computer would not recognize the stupid machine. Not only that, but the iPod screen completely froze! And yes, we have another iPod but no, for complicated reasons we cannot play video from it.

What is one to do with an iPod full of music and no time to plan?

Music trivia! Music trivia for mental alertness, cognitive stimulation, and mood elevation.

iPod and speakers
White board
Dry/erase markers

Task Analysis:
1) Split your group into two teams. Have them come up with a team name.
2) Decide who goes first (the team who has a person with the closest birthday goes first, for example).
3) Play a song for that team. Teams get one point for artist, one point for song title. You can throw in fun points here and there, like a point for dancing the Cupid Shuffle or a point for naming the movie that Eye Of the Tiger is famous for.
4) Repeat step 3, alternating between teams. If a team is at a loss for artist or title, you can allow the other team to "steal" their point.
5) Towards the end of the session, make it a "free for all." Anyone can guess at any time. Warning: you have to pay close attention to who guesses correctly first. It is hard when a few people shout it out at once.

I do not blindly choose songs either. There are two reasons that I can think of to rig the game this way. (A) I want to set the patient up for success. If they are slow to answer and points are popping up from everyone but that patient, play something you think they will know right off the bat. (B) I want to shape a person's mood. Today a patient came into session late. She planted herself right in front of me with arms crossed and started yelling at the staff. Well, my next song was Michael Jackson, something I really thought she'd enjoy. By the end of the hour she was dancing like crazy, smiling and laughing! It is awesome to see changes like that happen in front of you.

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