The Giggling Gauntlet
Sarasota Middle School

It requires fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown. With that in mind, students will take part in an activity that challenges them to walk a gauntlet of laughing, joking hecklers all the while keeping their “stony faced” countenance in tact.


  1. The students will work effectively as part of a group to accomplish a goal.
  2. The students will demonstrate responsibility and respect for others by following the rules of the game.
  3. The students will work to trust other students as they become immersed in the activity.
  4. The students will practice and demonstrate their problem solving skills.

None other than an area free from obstruction that is large enough for the entire group to stand.

  1. Divide the entire group of students into two equal sized teams.
  2. The two teams stand facing each other in shoulder to shoulder lines about 3 feet apart.
  3. Two players, one from each team, who stand at opposite ends of the lines are the challengers.
  4. The two challengers step forward and face each other down the length of the gauntlet.
  5. Beginning with a bow, the two challengers walk towards each other down the middle of the gauntlet.
  6. Both challengers must maintain eye contact with each other until they pass.
  7. Both challengers attempt to maintain composure and may not smile, laugh, giggle, or break from their “stony faced” countenance.
  8. The challenger who is able to maintain their composure all the way through the gauntlet rejoins their original team at the end of the line.
  9. The challenger who cracks a smile, falls down laughing, or anything in between, joins the opposing team at the end of the gauntlet.
  10. The students who form the gauntlet may heckle, call out, speak to, smile at, makes jokes to the challengers, but may not touch them in any way.
  11. The activity ends when all students are on one team, when everyone has walked the giggling gauntlet, or when everyone is simply laughed out.

The success or failure of this activity is determined during the wrap up phase based on student comments.  Staff should lead a brief discussion after the activity.  The following questions may be used.

  1. What was the hardest part of this activity and why?
  2. How did it feel to be in the center of the group?
  3. Where you able to make anyone smile?  If so, how?
  4. Where you able to keep your composure while walking?  If so, how?
  5. As part of the group, was it hard to follow the rules?  Why?