Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Meal-Time Activities: Secret Identity

by Deborah Pace Rowley
Cousins laughing and having fun together!
Once a month, we hold an extended family dinner. We have a pretty big family so we usually have adults on one table, teenagers at another table and little kids at a table of their own. For our family dinner in March, I placed secret identity cards in the center of the teenager’s table. I made these cards by writing the name of a book character on a piece of paper and folding the paper in half, sealing it closed with a sticker. Once the teenagers had gotten their food and were all sitting down, I explained the rules. Each of them would choose one secret identity. Then they would have to talk like that character until the rest of the table guessed who they were. Once their identity was discovered they could choose another identity. The winner would be the person who had collected the most secret identities at the end of the meal.
Here is a list of the characters that I used to create my secret identity cards along with the books that they are found in. I tried to choose books that I knew my children and nieces and nephews had read. If I wasn’t sure on a book, I made sure that it had a movie counterpart that the kids would have seen. If you want to play secret identities at your dinner table, use this list as a jumping off point, taking away some characters and adding other characters of your own. 

Percy Jackson- The Lightening Thief
Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom- Harry Potter
Edmund Pevensie- The Chronicles of Narnia Series
Ramona Cleary—Beezus and Ramona
Edward Cullins- The Twilight Series
Katniss Everdeen- The Hunger Games Series
Sticky Washington- The Mysterious Benedict Society
Fern Arable- Charlotte’s Web
Seth Sorenson- Fablehaven
Jonas- The Giver
Charles Wallace- A Wrinkle in Time
Charlie Bucket- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Laura Ingalls- Little House on the Prairie
Ponyboy- The Outsiders
Greg Heffley- Diary of a Wimpy Kid

One secret identity was revealed with just three words. Guts, guts, guts!! Can you guess who that is? Ramona! Everyone started cracking up when my 16-year-old nephew tried to get his cousins at the table to guess Edward Cullen. “Do you notice anything different about my skin today?” I loved how this game really made the kids think about what their characters would say. I also loved the goofy British accents and the discussion about books. As for the kids, they just loved laughing and joking together.  
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