There will be times when your class finishes up a subject a little early or has some free time in the school day when you can organize some games to play. These do not require you to leave the classroom and can be played for a few minutes or for an entire class period.
A classroom game that has stood the test of time is called Seven-Up. Take each child's name and write it on a piece of paper. Fold them up and place them in a hat. Then, pull from the hat the names of seven children, who will come to the front of the classroom. All of the other students must lay their heads down on the desk and stick their thumbs up in the air. Once all of the kids have their eyes closed, the seven chosen students go among the others and each put down the thumb of one other student. Then they go back to the front of the classroom, when the other children are free to raise their heads. All students who had their thumbs pressed down must stand up and take one guess as to who tagged them. If the student guesses correctly, he switches places with the tagger. If she guesses wrong, she must remain in her seat. This game can continue as long as needed.
This game is ideal because students must learn how to cooperate without actually talking. Ask all of the children to stand up. Then give them a command that would require them to put themselves in order in a line. You may ask them to get in order according to their names, alphabetically. You can request them to go by their first name or their last name. You may also ask them to get in order according to their ages. In this case you will want them to write their birthdays out on a piece of sticky paper and then attach the paper to their shirts. This must be done without the children uttering a word. They can point and make gestures, but that is it.
Pass the Chicken
Bring a stuffed or rubber chicken in to school. Choose one student to be the caller. This caller must hand the chicken to a fellow student. The caller will then announce a category, for which the student who held the chicken must give five examples while the chicken is passed quickly around the room. For instance, if the caller says "Foods that start with the letter T," the student with the chicken might say "Toast, turkey, tuna, tomato and tacos" as the chicken makes its way around the classroom. The five items must be named by the time the chicken has returned to the person calling out the answers. If the student is successful in naming five things, he will become the next caller. If not, the caller will not change and a new person is chosen to hold the chicken.
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