Secret Leader | Drama Action Game for Strong Ensembles

Secret Leader encourages students to work as a team and think strategically, even at a very young age! It’s safe to play while social distancing.

COVID-19 Update!
If you don’t have enough space to have the children sitting two metres apart in a circle, you can sit them at a safe distance around the room without affecting the game.


  • Ask the students to sit in a circle.
  • Select one student to leave the room (the detective).
  • Select one of the remaining students to be the leader.
  • The leader repeats an action that the group copy.
  • The detective returns to the room and has to guess who is leading the action.

Top tip: Encourage the students not to look at the leader. If everyone is following a person across from them, they should all being doing the same action without looking at the leader.

In my experience

With older kids, this game is a really nice introduction to choral movement and working together as an ensemble. It’s a quick warm up game that creates a strong foundation for more complex theatrical techniques.

It’s also a really popular game with preschoolers and can focus your group really quickly when their energy levels are getting out of hand.

Sometimes with younger kids, the leader won’t change the action very often and may need a prompt. It’s more difficult to get young kids not to look directly at the leader, but often a tiny detective is less observant anyway so the group can usually get away with it!

I often give the roles of leader and detective to students who are showing me a ‘ready body’ (sitting still and paying attention). This allows you to get energetic kids focused without having to criticise their behaviour. Trust me; they’ll sit calmly to get a desired role!

Need help keeping your students socially distant? Try marking a space using the following:

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Rebecca is the founder and chief executive officer of Silly Fish Learning Ltd. She is a children's playwright with a vast and varied career in education, primarily teaching drama and English.

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