3 figures game: a guide
3FG, what it is
3FG is a form of theatrical activity that enables children, sharing common experiences in their daily lives, to discover and experience new relational possibilities by the overlapping of their respective play areas. It follows the 2015 program Part Three: "a school where children will learn together to live together". It states that each child must be able to "construct himself as a singular person within a group, through the concrete situations of class life, a first sensitivity to moral experiences (feeling of empathy, expressions the just and the unjust, the questioning of stereotypes ...) ".
3FG fulfills five of six objectives set by the French curriculum in the nursery school: assimilating language, learning the rules of socialization and good-living together, acting and expressing oneself with one's body, Imagination, and value writing.
3FG encourages other important functions at this age: it constitutes a form of pre-education by allowing children to take a step back from what they see, especially on television. It teaches how to make believe, rather than experiment "for real". It fights gender stereotypes. It facilitates the learning of the French language among non-francophone students. It promotes the recognition of emotions and stimulates narrative construction.
More specifically it was specially designed for children to imagine themselves in each of the different postures in an aggressive situation and to teach them never to allow themselves to be a victim without protesting. This last result was confirmed by an evaluation carried out in 2007 and 2008 (see "History").
3FG, in its adapted version to 8th-7th grade and junior high school, adds to the initial objectives the development of modifying emotional perspective. Indeed, the period between nine and twelve years old seems particularly conducive to the establishment of this capacity. The main objective at this age is to prevent the child from locking himself into a rigid posture that can lead to a radicalized commitment.
3FG and what it is not about
3FG is not an "expressive" activity. It is not a matter of encouraging free play, but rather of setting benchmarks to encourage children to explore multiple identification postures, while many of them have already set themselves into a unique identification posture - Aggressor or victim.
3FG is not theater. It is not a matter of interpreting a work or a character, but of experiencing a collective experience that allows flexibility into relationships through the implementation of different forms of symbolization and by confrontation with different roles.
3FG is not role-play. Role-playing makes room for improvisation. On the contrary, in 3FP, actions, sentences and emotions linked to situations are precisely fixed before the volunteers begin to play.
3FG is not psychodrama. There is no form of interpretation: teachers or educators are asked not to comment on the meaning of the stories nor to judge the child’s acting even if it might be for his/her benefit.
All the theoretical foundations of 3FG, as well as the specific protocols adapted to kindergarten, elementary and middle school pupils, are available in this "Practical guide" version 2018 available in digital version for people who registered for a training session. This guide replaces the old "manual" published in 2007 under the heading "the three figure play in nursery classes" which is no longer valid. It gives a new impetus to 3FG by introducing the dimensions of the recognition of facial expressions, the importance of theatrical play and the construction of empathy. Finally, it develops these same benchmarks by adapting them to the characteristics of the pupils of elementary classes and colleges, in such a way that it constitutes the only valid guide to the three figures play from early childhood to adolescence. However, no more than the old one, this guide does not pretend to replace the training "face-to-face" which is indispensable to practice 3FG.
To take ownership of the 3FG
3FG is as much a codified protocol than it is a free one. It is codified because it is essential for teachers to be fully aware of the steps and sentences they must say, insofar as they are the guarantees of the framework. These sentences work much like the famous "Once upon a time", except that in this case, it is not a matter of opening the imaginary space of the tale, but the imaginary of the game. However, as long as the essential steps of 3FP are respected, it is possible for each facilitator to "customize" it.
For example, since 3FG was established, many proposals have been made by facilitator teachers and trainers to make it more attractive and easier for children without changing anything in principle. Here are the main proposals to date. These may or may not be used by animators, depending on their own sensitivity and the children they are responsible for.
A song of opening and closing session (in nursery school)
For nursery school, Sylvie Touil has imagined two songs to open and close the sessions of the 3GF. She suggests to sing them in D Major: A A A, D G F F F A A A, D G F F D (twice).
"Pan, pan, pan is the time of the theater
Bang, bang, bang, let's play
Bang, bang, bang, a play
Bang, bang, bang, that we are going to create. "
"Pan, pan, pan, it's over the theater
Bang, bang, bang, we played
Bang, bang, bang, a play
Bang, bang, bang, that we created."
Sylvie Touil says: "I have had to modify the lyrics according to the session, and to sing "we have not played", or even, "we have not created"...
A song to accompany facial expressions (in Nursery school)
Valerie Ader has created a little song to accompany the facial expression warm-up before the beginning of the 3FG. The tune is that of the song: Jean petit who dances.
With his eyes, with his arms, with his lips ... so gets angry Jean ...
With his eyes, with his arms, with his lips ... so afraid Jean little ...
With his eyes, with his arms, with his lips ... so sad John small ...
With his eyes, with his arms, with his lips ... so amused Jean petit ...
With his eyes, with his arms, with his lips ... so arranged Jean little ...
In this class, the word "arranging" was in fact found by the children to evoke the posture of the witness, for that word says nothing to them. They decided that the witness is nice and is trying to make sure everything is going well. They have appropriated the term "arranging". The idea is obviously to take up this song without necessarily repeating the term, or even to create his own words with the children, on the same air, or on another. The creation of a song allows children to get involved more easily in the ritual of entering facial expressions.
To help contain emotions (in Nursery school)
The situation of 3FG sometimes stimulates the emotions of the children in a way that ends up hampering the smooth running of the activity. To remedy this, Sylvie Darras proposed some ways to allow children to better contain their emotions.
To arrive with the certainty that it will happen well ;-), they may be happy but joy and agitation must not be confused...
To speak softly, to say that one needs to calm down with a disapproving glance rather than by speaking loudly...
Each person has a definite place in the space, individual chairs or individual carpets rather than benches.
Find the most agitated students and sit them next to you. Lay a hand on them gently as soon as they stir.
Materialize the students’ turn to speak by having an object to hold like a microphone. Only the person with the microphone has the right to speak. This object also allows the children to materialize one moment of the game from another: beginning of role, change of role, end of role.
In another case, the use of a microphone, even without an amplifier tested by a teacher, proved difficult to manage because children asked for the object itself and the emphasis (star effect) which it confers.
Encourage and develop inner speech (in nursery school)
An animator noticed children were having difficulties remembering sentences which had been discussed. So, in order to encourage memorization, she found a way of relying on inner speech to promote its memorization She first reminded the children of the story they had imagined exactly as in the protocol, and then repeated it a second time, insisting in particular, on each of the sentences that the volunteers had to pronounce. For each of them, she first invited all children to say it silently in their head. To help them, she placed her right index finger on her temple to show them that they did not need to pronounce the sentence aloud, obviously adapting it to the time which it takes for her to recite this sentence internally. Then she repeated this same exercise a second time and finally, she invited them all to say the same sentence aloud together with her.
This approach seems to give good results on memorization. It also has a further advantage: a time when children are asked to do nothing and to say nothing in order to recite in their heads a few sentences quickly becomes a moment of tranquility. All participants benefit from it: children who are invited to focus on themselves and develop the capacity of inner speech; and the teacher who creates a moment of calm in the course of the game where many children are generally very excited...
Two proposals coming from teachers to welcome children (in nursery school)...
A facilitator experimented with a distribution of invitation cards to come and “play theater" which particularly mobilized children.
A animator suggested to the children, at the beginning of the session, to make a sweeping gesture over every part of their body with their hand, repeating: "I get rid of my bad mood, my fatigue, my worries at home, my disputes In class, etc.".
Three proposals to promote the return to calm (in nursery school)
The small seed
Start from the crouched position, and stretch slowly to mimic the small seed that grows, emerges from the ground and grows to become a tree.
A song "lower and lower"
In the same vein, another teacher has the students sing: "hush not more noise, it's the sound of night". All of them sing together low and lower.
I smell the good smell of hot chocolate that I will drink (breathe several times through my nose).
The chocolate is too hot, you have to cool it (put your hands in the shape of bowl and blow out slowly by the mouth).
I drink it (mimic the action by sucking with noise, then blow while opening the mouth).