Saturday, May 19, 2018

Kids Game of the Year 2018

Game of the Year - Elementary School English:

Every year when working with elementary school students I try to test out a lot of games to see what each group of kids respond to.

Some games are naturally a good fit for reviewing English material, and games like BINGO are a good fit that can be recycled several times each year with high levels of enthusiasm.

Some games games have less flexibility for reviewing English materials; you can set those games behind an English review barrier.

Cut the Cake

This year the game that was most requested during play time was a musical class game called "cut the cake." Introducing the rules for this game is a bit complicated so you may want to refer to the video below to show the students how the game is going to work:

This game works well with groups of eight or more.

The students are arranged into a circle. One student is selected to walk around the outside of the circle while the other students stand in place (this will be the most difficult point to convey/enforce initially and may be the "herding cats" barrier at first - if so use the video to teach).

The student walks around the circle and waits for a musical chairs/London Bridge style cue to stop. You could play recorded music or simply yell "stop" but this game already comes with its own musical set that you can chant out loud and teach to the students (with gestures):

"Clap your hands together.
Give your hips a shake.
Make a happy circle.
Now you CUT THE CAKE!"
When they hear "cut the cake" the student walking around the outside stops and makes a cutting motion between two students and those two take off around the circle in opposite directions and try to make it around to their position first. The winner returns to the "cutter's" side and the slower student assumes the role of the new "cutter" as the chant restarts. -This process repeats until you call an end to the game.

Points for teachers:

   Position the students into the circle and make sure there is enough room around the outside of the circle for the students to run around and pass each other (so the students may need to move the desks and the students may need to move students into the circle away from walls or obstacles). During each round there will be a point where the two students who are running around the circle will pass each other so you should caution the kids against bumping heads and position yourself somewhere on the outside of the circle where you can move around the space and supervise.

Rhythm: If you are leading the chant you can increase or decrease the rhythm of the chance to affect when the students hear the "cut the cake" cue and help to see that all of the students have a chance to run.