The Silent Human Knot

Kathy Marshy - 2018-2019 NET Fellowship
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  • Create Date June 10, 2019
  • Last Updated July 13, 2019

The Silent Human Knot

Created by

Kathy Marshy


Brief Description

This activity consists of dividing the students into two groups, with a simple one, two system to ensure that students are evenly mixed and people who don’t usually work together are given a chance to do so. Each group will then select two “controllers”. This controller will leave the room as the other students attempt to make a human knot without saying a word.

The human knot has the students standing a circle, where each student extends their right arm towards the center and grabs another person’s hand all the while making sure they do not grab the hand of the person standing next to them. After doing so, they must then with their left hand reach for someone else’s hand and again not the person next to them.

After this phase is completed the four “controllers” are let back in the class to attempt to untangle the human knot, being able to speak to each other but not the students that are in the knot.


Learning Objectives

In this activity I want students to be able to efficiently work together as a group and to do so as quickly as possible.


Lead-in / Preparation

No lead-in or preparation is needed before the activity.


Estimated Class-Time Required

20 minutes


Description of Activities

The link below shows a small group doing a similar activity. However, take into mind that they don’t have “controllers” undoing the knot.


Key Vocabulary / Phrases

There are no key vocabulary or phrases in this activity since it a silent activity.



The assessment of this activity would be which team was able to work together faster to successfully untie the know while being quiet.



After the activity has been completed the students can sit in their group and discuss in their opinion was led to the success or failure of the activity.

Attached Files

The Silent Human Knot.pdfDownload