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Three Figures Game

Game guide

To be continued :
facial expressions
I understood that when we are hurt, we must tell the mistress.
Oliver, 8 years old
The J3F, what it is
The J3F, what it is not
The J3F guide in cycles 1, 2 and 3
The J3F guide in cycle 4
To appropriate the J3F

The J3F, what it is

J3F is a form of theatrical activity which aims to allow children sharing common experiences in their daily lives to discover and experiment with new relational possibilities in an overlap of their respective play areas. It is completely in agreement with the 2015 programs which provide in part three: “a school where children will learn together to live together”. It is specified that each child must be able to “construct themselves as a unique person within a group, (…) through the concrete situations of classroom life, an initial sensitivity to moral experiences (feeling of empathy, expressions of the fair and the unfair, questioning of stereotypes…)”.

The J3F fulfills five of the six objectives that French programs set for kindergarten : appropriating the language, learning the rules of socialization and living well together, acting and expressing oneself with one's body, implementing the imagination, and valuing the reference to writing.

3FG encourages other important functions at this age : it constitutes a form of pre-education in images by allowing children to take a step back from those they see, especially on television; he teaches “pretend” and encourages children to “imitate for fake” in their games rather than “for real”; it fights against gender stereotypes; it facilitates the learning of the French language among non-French-speaking students; it favors the recognition of the emotions and it stimulates the narrative construction.

But it has been specially designed to invite children to imagine themselves in each of the postures of an aggressive situation and to teach them never to let themselves be made into a victim without protesting. This last result was confirmed by an evaluation carried out in 2007 and 2008 (see “ Historical ").

The J3F, in its version adapted to CM1, CM2 and colleges, adds to the initial objectives the care given to the construction of the change of emotional perspective. The period between nine and twelve years indeed seems particularly favorable to the implementation of this capacity. The priority objective at this age is to prevent the child from locking himself into a rigid posture which could lead him to a radicalized commitment.

The J3F, what it is not

3FG is not an “expressive” activity. It is not a question of encouraging free play, but on the contrary of setting benchmarks to encourage children to explore multiple identifying postures, while many of them have already fixed themselves in a single identifying posture – in particular aggressor or victim.

The J3F is not "doing theater". It is not a question of interpreting a work or a character, but of living a collective experience which makes it possible to reintroduce flexibility into relations by implementing different forms of symbolization, and by confronting different roles.

3FG is not role-playing. The role play leaves a lot of room for improvisation. On the contrary, in 3FG, the actions, sentences and emotions related to the situations are precisely fixed before the volunteers begin to play.

3FG is not psychodrama. There is no form of interpretation: teachers or educators are invited to make no comments, neither on the meaning of the stories constructed and then acted out by the children, nor to "judge" the performance of the children, even if it would be with the intention of enhancing it.

The J3F guide in cycles 1, 2 and 3

All of the theoretical foundations of the J3F, as well as the specific protocols adapted to nursery, elementary and middle school students, are available in this “Practical Guide” version 2018 available in a digital version that can be downloaded for free ONLY FOR PEOPLE TRAINED OR BEING TRAINED. This guide replaces the old “manual” published in 2007 under the title: “The Three Figures Game in nursery classes” which is no longer valid. It gives new impetus to the J3F by introducing the dimensions of facial expression recognition, the importance of theatrical play and the construction of empathy. Finally, it develops these same benchmarks by adapting them to the characteristics of elementary and middle school students, in such a way that it constitutes the only valid guide to Game of Three Figures from infancy to adolescence. But, no more than the old one, this guide does not claim to replace the "face-to-face" training which is essential for practicing 3FG.

The J3F guide in cycle 4

As part of the program deployment Lighthouse (prevention of harassment at school), the Paris academy asked DEPJ3F to train its staff with trainer status (CPE, teachers, management staff, psychologists, educational advisors, inspectors, etc.) so that they become first facilitators, then trainers of J3F. Given the results obtained, she wanted the system to be extended to cycle 4.

The protocol for cycle 4 was developed and tested with two groups of students from a class of 3th general at the Pablo Picasso college, in the commune of Frouzins in Haute Garonne, and two groups of students from a class of 5th at the NDE college in Brouzils in Vendée. Then, 32 people with EN trainer status were trained as facilitators of the J3F in cycle 4, and the following year as cycle 4 teacher trainers.


To appropriate the J3F

The J3F is a protocol that is both highly codified and very free. It is codified because it is essential that the teachers know perfectly the steps and the sentences that they must pronounce in it, insofar as these guarantee the framework. These sentences work a bit like the famous "once upon a time", except that here it is not a question of opening up the space of the imagination of the tale, but the space of the imagination of the game. However, as long as the essential steps of the 3FG are respected, it is possible for each facilitator to "personalize" it.

Thus since the J3F was set up, many proposals have been made by teacher facilitators and trainers to make it more attractive and easier for children without changing anything in its principle. Here are the main proposals so far. They may or may not be put in place by the facilitator teachers, depending on their own sensitivity and that of the children in their charge.

An opening and end of session song (in Kindergarten)...

A song to accompany facial expressions (in kindergarten)...

To help contain emotions (in Kindergarten)…

Encourage and develop self-talk (in Kindergarten)…

Two proposals for teachers for reception (nursery)...

Three proposals to encourage a return to calm (kindergarten)…