Whoosh, Whoa!

Involved & Inclusive
Involved & Inclusive

To mentally warm up; to make offers and “sell” them; to fail joyfully; to accept offers and to find the games within the game; to connect to your fellow players through a shared game experience.


  • No materials are needed for this activity.


This activity helps to demonstrate that we can’t control the behaviours of others or the situations we find ourselves in. The hope is for them to understand that the goal of social interactions isn’t to “win” the conversation, but to listen and accept fully what they say or do, and then act accordingly.


  1. Students stand in a circle.
  2. They are instructed to pass a “whoosh” around the circle, which travels through their fingertips and voices to the player to their left.
  3. Once the whoosh has traveled around a few times, introduce the idea of “Whoa,” which is produced by holding up your hands to block a “Whoosh.” When someone says, “Whoa,” the “Whoosh” must switch directions and go the opposite way.
  4. Continue playing a few rounds of this or until the group has gotten a hang it, at which point you can try out some of the additions listed in the “Modify” section.


  • After the students adapt to this, further actions are as follows:
    - Ramp, which is sent over the head of the next player, skipping that player and landing on the next one;
    - Tunnel, which causes the next three players to turn sideways (creating a tunnel through their legs) and landing the next Whoosh four players over;
    - Volcano, which causes all players to run to the middle and erupt outwards and back into the circle, continuing the Whoosh from the last position;
    - Banished!, in which a player points to another and “banishes” him/her from the circle. The banished student then finds a new place in the circle. (Banished can also be used when a student misses a pass or fumbles.)
  • Once students have adapted to all the different types of rules, they can invent their own, which should be accepted by the rest of the circle and incorporated into regular game play.
  • Try using the actions only and omitting voices, or vice versa.


  • The activity seems simple enough but actually can be quite difficult meaning that there is a potential for participants to get frustrated. Ensure you start off slow and only level up if there are definitely ready for it, and be sure to facilitate a positive environment.


Facilitate a general reflection session after the activity. Explore the group’s feelings towards what it was like to receive and give the whooshes and whoas and what they thought about playing a games in which no one can win.

Canadian Improv Games. “Whoosh/Whoa.” Improv.ca. Retrieved online from: http://improv.ca/WHOOSHWHOA/