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A Comprehensive K-12 Curriculum Framework


Games From Other Cultures

Introduce games from the various cultures you study with the students.  Games can often teach us much about other aspects of a people group, how a culture interacts socially or the values/skills/ethics important to their work.  Much of children’s play is a rehearsal for life as adults.

YEAR ONE     UNIT THREE

Japan Paper Boat Races

ALL

Students design boats out of paper (either individually or as a team).  Each boat should have a string connected for “docking” the boat.  The first boat to make it down the waterway and is safely “docked” (by winding the string around a stick at the end of the course) is the winner.

YEAR ONE     UNIT FOUR

TurkeyMule (Kaddir)

ALL

Select one person to be IT.  Tie a long rope to a post and have IT hold on to the end of it.  Other students, with long swatches of cloth, try to tag IT with the cloth before he/she tags them.  The tagged player is now IT and becomes the mule in the center.

YEAR ONE     UNIT FIVE

SyriaMotion Tag

ER/IR

One student is designated IT and pulls the ear or pinches the nose (gently, of course) of the person next to him/her in the circle.  The victim must do the same to the next person, and on around the circle.  Whoever laughs or speaks is out of the game.

YEAR TWO                UNIT TWO

Malaysia Turtle’s Nest

ER/IR

One student is chosen to be the TURTLE and guards the “eggs” (stones).  The other players try to snatch the stones before the TURTLE tags them.  The first student to get tagged must become the next TURTLE.  The “eggs” that are taken, are then hidden in different places for the TURTLE to find.

YEAR TWO    UNIT SIX

Hong KongBasket Race

ER

Divide the group into two teams.  One child from each team sits inside a large basket and at the signal, races to the finish line using only their hands and arms to move about.  The player brings the basket back to the next child on the team, until all have had a turn.

YEAR THREE UNIT ONE

Cameroon Clap Ball

ER/IR

Divide the students into two teams and have them stand directly across from each other.  Players swiftly toss a breadfruit (or similar fruit/vegetable) back and forth to each other, moving down the line.  Each time it is caught, everyone must clap and stomp.

YEAR THREE UNIT ONE

Bolivia Bread Toys

ER/IR

A unique form of play for the children of Bolivia is to create dolls and animals from bread dough.  Have students mix a large batch of bread dough (see Cooking Together).  After forming a 12 inch toy, letting it raise for about an hour and then baking it for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees, students play with their creations for a time, and finally eat them.

YEAR THREE UNIT FOUR

England Milkmaid Ball

ALL

Each player sits on her/his milking stool (or something similar).  Choose a student to be IT and ask them to stand in the center.  IT throws up a ball and the others rush to trade stools with their neighbor before IT catches the ball and throws it at them.  Whoever is hit (tagged) becomes IT for the next round of play.

YEAR FOUR              UNIT ONE

Brazil Hit the Penny

ALL

Place a foot-long bamboo stick upright in the middle of a circle three feet in diameter.  Place a coin on top of the stick.  Students take turns throwing a penny at the coin, trying to earn a point by knocking the coin inside the circle.  The student with the most points wins after a predetermined amount of time or until everyone has had the same number of turns.

YEAR FOUR              UNIT ONE

Paraguay Peanut Shelling Contest

ALL

This is a game played on festive occasions.  Each student is given the same number of peanuts in the shell (30-50) and a container for the unshelled nuts.  At the signal, students begin shelling their nuts.  The first student to completely shell all the nuts wins.  In case of a tie, have the two students count their shelled nuts and the one with the most, wins.

YEAR FOUR              UNIT SIX

VietnamThe long Breath Game

MS/HS

This game is a test of endurance.  Designate one student to be IT.  This student must hold his/her breath, crying “oo” as he/she runs across a line into the enemy’s territory.  Those IT touches are captured unless the opponents can hold on to IT until he/she runs out of breath.  The first person captured becomes the next IT.

Ideas taken from Children’s Games Around the World by Jeanne and Helen Clarke