1.09.2012

Great Group Games Giveaway

It was providential, meeting authors Ann Saylor and Susan Ragsdale. After they endorsed a book on their blog based solely on a review I'd written, I emailed to thank them for their kind words. They offered to get me a copy of a book they'd written for review, but added that they couldn't get send it until they got back from Houston where they'd be presenting at the Big Tent Conference. Houston? I live near Houston. Could I save them the postage? Did they need a ride? We made airport arrangements, we met for dinner, and we became friends. Today they're making a virtual visit to share FOUR of their amazing activities and get this -  
They're giving away an autographed copy of their new book to one of my readers! 


For your chance at winning a copy of Great Group Games For Kids, share your favorite "play with purpose" ideas with other readers HERE. We will randomly select a winner from all of the ideas on Wednesday, January 11, 2012.
This Giveaway is Now CLOSED!  Congrats Tabitha!

Academics + Character + Fun = A Winning Combination!
By Ann Saylor and Susan Ragsdale

When children enjoy learning, they will absorb much more of the educational material.  So children and youth often thrive when they can learn or practice math, English, Spanish, or social studies through educational games.  And many of these same experiential educational activities provide opportunities to teach, model and reinforce good character while you are learning and playing. 

Here are some activities that you can use in your classroom or youth organization.  Each game has directions, as well as going deeper questions to help explore academic and character lessons from the game.  Each game is also connected to categories of Developmental Assets, strengths that children and youth need to succeed in life. 

ALPHABET SCAVENGER HUNT (from Great Group Games for Kids by Ragsdale and Saylor)
Time: 5–10 minutes
Supplies: Arbitrary items from players’ bags or desks, or from around the room
The Game: Break the group into teams of four to six players. Tell them that you are going to ask for items based on random letters of the alphabet that you call out. The first player to bring up the item that fits gets a point for her team. For example, if you ask for a “C” item, a team might bring up a tube of ChapStick; if you ask for an “N” item, someone might bring up a nickel or a notebook. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Going Deeper:
What if we had played this individually instead of as teams? How do you think the game would have been different?
What are some things that you do in everyday life that work better when you do them with others instead of by yourself?
Were there any letters called for which you couldn’t find anything to fit the category?
Sometimes we don’t have everything we need. When you come up short and don’t have the right answer or right “stuff” in life, how do you respond?
Asset Categories:  Empowerment, Positive Values, Social Competencies, Positive Identity

Coin Spellers (from Great Group Games for Kids by Ragsdale and Saylor)
Time: 10–15 minutes
Supplies:
• A small container of approximately 50 pennies (or rocks, buttons, etc.) for every small group of four or five
• Chalkboard and a piece of chalk, or flipchart paper and a marker
The Game: Break into small groups of four or five players. Read aloud one of the word puzzles (see examples below). The teams will confer among themselves to determine the correct answer, and then they will quickly spell out their one-word answer with their pennies, arranging them in lines that form the shapes of the letters in the word. When they have created the word with their coins, they should raise their hands and yell “Coin Spellers!” Check their answers. Award five points to the first team that answered correctly. Repeat this process for each of the puzzles. The overall point winners claim the prize.
Sample word puzzles:
1. A person who tells the truth is known for being ____. This word starts with the eighth letter in the alphabet. (Honest)
2. What you show when you give someone a hug. This word rhymes with “dove.” (Love)
3. A person who follows the rules of the game plays _____. The word rhymes with “square.” (Fair)
4. You should always treat yourself, others, and other people’s things with ________. This word starts with the letter of the alphabet that comes after the letter Q. (Respect)
5. If somebody does something bad to you and you don’t deserve it, the right thing to do is to _____ them. The first part of the word sounds like the number that comes after three. (Forgive)
6. You shouldn’t ________ things from other people without asking. Rhymes with “peel.” (Steal)
7. The opposite of selfishly keeping something just for yourself, like cookies, is to ___ it with others. (Share)
8. If you ______ someone, it means you feel safe and believe that person will do the right thing. This word rhymes with “dust” and is a value important in friendships. (Trust)
9. This short word means thoughtful, and rhymes with “mind.” (Kind)
10. This word rhymes with “royal” and is often used to describe a dog’s devotion to its owner. (Loyal)
Going Deeper:
• Did you notice anything similar about the various words?
• What values are important to you?
• What is one value that is hard for you to practice?
• How can you help one another stay true to your values?
Asset Categories:  Support, Empowerment, Social Competencies, Positive Values

CULTURAL INVESTIGATORS (from Great Group Games for Kids by Ragsdale and Saylor)
This game is recommended for grades 2 and up.
Time: 20–25 minutes
Supplies:
• One copy of the Cultural Investigators Worksheet for each group  
• Large world map        
• Computer with Internet access for each group
• Sticky notes, such as Post-it Notes.
• Pencil for each group
Prep: Make copies or your own version of the following Cultural Investigators Worksheet. Compile a list of suitable Web sites to help players research the topic areas on the worksheet. You might consider weather.com, worldatlas.com, or nationalgeographic.com. Additionally, you might allow players to “Google” phrases such as “convention center, [their city]” or “sports team, [their city].” Be sure to double-check Internet sites to make certain they are safe. If possible, recruit a teen or adult volunteer to supervise the small groups.
The Game: Spread out the world map on a table. Give each person a small sticky note to write her or his initials on. Have players close their eyes and place their sticky notes somewhere on the map. Group kids together according to how close their sticky notes are to each other. Ask players to share what they know about the area, and then go on a virtual scavenger hunt to find out more about the area. Give the groups 10 minutes to be private investigators and see what information they can find out about their areas. To add an optional element of competition, the game can be played like a scavenger hunt, with the winning team being the group that finds the most information in the allotted time. Let the groups share two or three cool things they learned about their areas.
Going Deeper:
• Of all the places, people, and traditions shared from each team, which place would you most like to visit or learn more about? Why?
• Who is someone you know that is from a different culture or background?
• What is something you are curious about? It can be anything, from how a Ferris wheel works, to where peanuts come from, to . . . whatever. Where might you go to find the answer to your question?
• If you were building a webpage that others could visit to see interesting things about our culture, what would you include? (Go back through the map card and have players respond to some or all categories.)
Asset Categories:  Empowerment, Commitment to Learning, Social Competencies

3 X 2 MATH GAME (from Tales Told Twice, a free 4-5th grade resource from www.TheAssetEdge.net)
Time: 10–15 minutes
Materials: deck of playing cards, pre-made index cards—two per team (each team gets one with an addition sign on one side and a subtraction sign on the other side, and one with a multiplication sign on one side and a division sign on the other side)
The Game:
·      Divide the group into teams of 2 people (or you can do individually).
·      Give each team their two index cards: the one with subtraction/addition signs and
·      the one with multiplication/division signs.
·      Distribute to each team the Ace–10 (1–10) cards.
·      Announce a target number. Each team has to use three cards and two orders of operation to arrive at the target number. For example, the number 19 can be derived by: 2 x 9 + 1 = 19 OR 2 x 10 – 1 = 19. One group came up with 30 combinations to get 19 (Remember that you can also use the opposite order of the problems, such as with the first example: 9 x 2 + 1 = 19).
·      Each team must rotate roles - handling cards, coming to the board
with answers….
·      Have each group send someone up to the board to demonstrate their solution.
Assets: school engagement, social competencies, bonding to school, achievement motivation, planning and decision-making, personal power, youth as resources
  
Ann Saylor and Susan Ragsdale are Authors and Youth Development Experts at the YMCA Center for Asset Development.  Find more “play with purpose” activities in their books, which are available at www.TheAssetEdge.net or at your favorite online bookseller.  You can also collect more creative and practical resources that reinforce character, leadership and service by following them on twitter @TheAssetEdge or perusing their blog for educators, counselors and youth workers.



1 comment:

  1. We already have some great feedback, inlcuding board games such as Risk, Uno, Guess Who, and Candyland; as well a blindfold PBJ game; and an activity with a book about tattle-taling. I love reading the creative responses!! Keep 'em coming, and we'll share everyone's ideas in future blog posts! ann

    ReplyDelete

I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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