These activities are also available in Romanian
Skills practiced: order and vocabulary—first, second, last; remembering order; observing, concentration, staying on task.
D1 In the Right Row
Needed: paper & pen/pencil to write down names.
- Have at least three students stand or sit in a row where everyone in the class can see them.
- Discuss who is the first, the last, in the middle, the next one, etc., and count them.
- Write the names on a paper in the order that they are sitting or standing.
- Have the students change places in the row.
Discuss where they are now. Can you see what is changed?
Who is now the first, etc.?
- Have the students go back to their original places.
- Ask the class to check the names on the paper. Are the students standing/sitting in the right order?
- Repeat with a different group of students.
Variation: Play the game with objects such as stuffed toys or different-sized blocks instead of students.
D2 Sticks and Stones
Needed: only one small cloth; for each participant two sticks and a stone (or other small object such as a shell, a nut, or a button).
Activity: Discuss how you can describe positions on a stick by words like: halfway, below, above, a third (quarter) of the way up or down, etc.
Lay two sticks in front of you. Put a stone in a certain place. Let the students tell exactly where it is. Examples include: between the two sticks, in the middle; left of the sticks, in the middle of the lowest quarter; right of the sticks, above the sticks; etc.
When every one gets the idea, cover your sticks with a cloth, so no one can see them.
Students try to guess where the stone is by asking questions which you can only answer with “yes” or “no.” For example: Is it between the sticks? Is it near the top of stick? Etc.
Have each student put a stone by their own sticks where they think your stone is. As questions continue, the position of their stones will change. When someone is sure he knows the position, he can call out, “I know it.”
The leader checks the position of the student’s stone. If it is correct, he or she gets a point and the teacher takes the cloth away so all can see.
The student can now be the leader. Each time a student places their stone correctly, they receive a point.
Continue playing until someone has 10 points. Take time to give congratulations.
D3 Fingers and Stones
Skills practiced: position words; concentration; visual differences.
Needed: gather enough stones or other small objects (plastic bottle caps? Wads of scrap paper?) for each student to have several.
Show the students your ten fingers. Let them count them: first, second etc. Do this for the left as well as the right hand.
If these fingers have a particular name in the language you are using (“pinky” and “ring finger” in English, for example), name them. Point out the joints of each finger, too (first, second).
Tell the students to put a stone between, for example, the first finger and the second finger of the left hand.
Then tell the students put a stone next to the nail of the pinky finger at the height of the second joint. Describe where the stone is.
Let a student put a stone in another position. The student then describes it so that everyone can put a stone in the same position on their own hands.
Repeat until everyone knows all the words and therefore is able to play the game.
D4 Find the Stone
Skills practiced: position; describing; concentration; vocabulary—fingers, position words.
Needed: A stone or other small object for each person (also the teacher) + one small cloth or towel.
- Put a stone somewhere in a position between two fingers of one of your two hands.
- Cover your hands with a cloth, so no one can see them.
- Students try to guess where the stone is by asking questions which you can only answer with “yes” or “no.” For example: Is it on the left hand? Is it near the thumb? Etc.
- Let each student put a stone between their own fingers where they think your stone is. As questions continue, the position of their stones will change. When someone is sure he knows the position, he can call out, “I know it.”
- The leader checks the position of the student’s stone. If it is correct, the student gets a point and the teacher takes the cloth away so all can see.
- Now the student can be the leader. Continue playing until someone has 10 points. Everyone collects points.
- Take time to give congratulations.
D5 Find Your Family
Needed: An object such as a stone or a small box; an object representing an animal or character, such as a paper butterfly or a flat balloon; paper and colored pencils for each child.
Activity: The leader tells a story about a lost animal/character looking for its family. The leader moves the character on top of the stone/box or other object, and tells the children, “The butterfly has stopped here on top of the stone to look for its family, but they are not there.” The leader then moves the character to other positions relative to the object (in front, behind, to the left, to the right, under, in), and repeats the story. At the end of the game, the children create their own butterflies using paper & pencils, which become the lost family of the character.
Variation: The students close their eyes, and the leader hides the butterfly/balloon/etc. somewhere near a fixed object (a table, chair, etc.). One of the students has to find the hidden character, and name its position (on top, under, beside, etc.). The game continues until each child has had a turn finding the character.