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Fun Educational Classroom Games

Feb 29, 2008
Children do not go to school to learn games, but a game may help them to some valuable acquirement. The occasional introduction of such exercises as are suggested here will relieve the monotony of the schoolroom, will rest the pupils, brighten their wits, concentrate their attention, and give them a fresh impetus for more serious work.

The games can be used sometimes in opening exercises, or for " busy work " between recitations, or occasionally in place of a recess. In district schools where children living far from the school bring their lunches, these plays will make the noon-hour pass quickly and pleasantly.

Geography and History Helps.

Capping Names: This game is played by each scholar in order naming some place or person, each to begin with the final letter of the one previously given. Starting with London, the next might be Newport, the next Troy, and so on.

This game may give choice of geographical names generally, or be limited to names of cities, historical characters, etc. When used as a geography exercise, it is well to have the places located; and in the history class dates and brief descriptions may be given; as, Alexander, king of Greece, fourth century B.C. ; Eaphael, one of the "old masters", lived in Italy; Longfellow, American poet, nineteenth century; Washington, "the father of his country".

Piece-Work: Two pupils choose sides. No. 1 names a city, county, or river previously studied by the class, about which No.1 of the opposite side must state a fact. No.2 another, and so on down the line. The head scholar who has already recited then proposes a city for the other side, which is taken in the same manner. If any one hesitates he returns to his seat. If the sentences do not hold out the length of the line, and any one below the last who recites thinks of another acceptable sentence, the intervening scholars take their seats.

If those left in line can think of nothing further, and one on the opposite side recites a fact which the entire class is supposed to know, the remainder of the line pass to their seats; but if this does not occur, a new city is given. If thought best, some scholar may sum up the facts after they have been separately given.

Alphabetical Game: The group is divided by choosing sides. The leader begins by naming a place beginning with the letter A, and then slowly counts up to ten. If some one on the opposite side during this time can give some geographical name beginning with the same letter he does so, and in turn counts ten, giving the other side a chance to name a place. This goes on back and forth until there is a failure to give a place during the counting.

The side which last gave a name is awarded a credit, and the game is begun anew with the letter B. All the letters of the alphabet are thus taken, and the side which has the largest number of credits wins.

Historical Pictures: As a review exercise in a History class pupils may be required to bring in a written description of some person or event wliich they may select, leaving the subject to be found out by the other pupils when the exercises are read. A skillful teacher may also use these pictures with good effect in bringing historical scenes vividly before her pupils.

The following are illustrations:

1. On a plain stand two armies, only waiting for the signal to commence fighting, when an old man comes between them and proposes that instead of a battle it shall be a single combat. Three men are chosen out of each army. Two of the three are killed, but the third, in feigning flight, cleverly kills his three opponents.

2. A venerable man, dressed in a costume of ancient times, holds in his hand a bowl of some liquid which he is about to drink. As he raises the bowl to his lips a smile lights up his face; but the persons gathered about him are shedding tears.

3. A man, moved by some deep feeling, is leaning upon a cross-bow, while a boy runs to him holding an apple cut in pieces as if an arrow had passed through it.

4. A glade in the forest. Natives of the land are gathered about a group of three persons; one of these kneels, his hands bound; another is in the act of throwing herself upon him ; the third has swung up above the two a heavy club, which is about to fall.

5. A king of ancient times, unable to untie a very complicated knot, cut it through with a blow of his sword. This he did that he might fulfil a certain prophecy.

6. The scene is a park, before a large and magnificent palace. Standing about it are many courtiers, and amongst them is their king. They are all looking anxiously at a noble and spirited horse, who is prancing about in the midst of the assembly, and who will not allow any one to mount him.

All at once a youth springs forward, and, taking the bridle, caresses the horse and endeavors to quiet him; then, taking off a kind of cloak which he is wearing, he springs lightly on his back, and in a little time the animal flies across the plains at the top of his speed, to the pleasure and admiration of the spectators. Then, having satisfied himself with running, he returns to the assembly, who load the youth with praise, and congratulate him on his good success.

1. The fight between the Horatii and the Curiatii.
2. Socrates drinking the fatal hemlock.
3. William Tell, after shooting the apple from his son's head.
4. Pocahontas saving John Smith.
5. Alexander cutting the Gordian knot.
6. Alexander mounting Bucephalus.

Review: As a review exercise, let one of the pupils stand in front of the class, and the others in turn ask her questions. In case of failure, the one who has asked the last question is to exchange places with the pupil on the floor.
About the Author
Malcolm Blake is interested in all types of games - educational and recreational. He has also researched top PSP games.
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