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 people stand or sit in a row where everyone 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 three people change places in the row.
Discuss where they are now. Can you see what is changed?
Who is now the first, etc.?
- Have the people in the row go back to their original places.
- Ask the group to check the names on the paper. Is the row in the right order?
- Repeat with different people.
- Add more people if this becomes too easy.
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 person 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 others 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.
The others 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 person put a stone by their own sticks where they think that your stone is. As questions continue, the position of their stones will change. When someone is sure they knows the position, they can call out, “I know it” (or something funnier).
Checks the position of the stone. If it is correct, that person gets a point. Take the cloth away so all can see.
The winner can now be the leader. Each time someone 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 everyone to have several.
Show the group 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 everyone to put a stone between, for example, the first finger and the second finger of the left hand.
Then tell them put a stone, for example, next to the nail of the pinky finger at the height of the second joint. Describe where the stone is.
Let someone else put a stone in another position. They then describe it so that everyone else 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 leader) + 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.
- Everyone else tries 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 everyone else 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.”
- Check the position of their. If it is correct, they get a point and the cloth is taken away so all can see.
- Now that person can be the leader. Continue playing until someone has 10 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 says something like, “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 others create their own butterflies using paper & pencils, which become the lost family of the character.
Variation: Everyone closes their eyes, and the leader hides the butterfly/balloon/etc. somewhere near a fixed object (a table, chair, etc.). Someone else has to find the hidden character, and name its position (on top, under, beside, etc.). The game continues until each person has had a turn finding the character.