I have been researching playground games that are culturally authentic - games that my students would likely be playing if they indeed lived in a Spanish-speaking country. I came across this great list of games that I plan on tweaking a bit. Here are some preliminary ideas as to how a little more learning can be added to these authentic games.
1. Pelota pared (Wall ball)
Equipment: A tennis ball and chalk.
Rules: A parallel line to the floor is drawn on the wall with the chalk about one meter of it.
Every player has a number. The player with the number one has to bounce the ball on the floor and hit it with his hand throwing the ball against the wall calling another number. The player who has the called number has to hit the ball before it bounces twice on the ground and call another number, and go on.
One player fails if he isn't able to hit the ball before the second bounce or if the ball hits the wall under the line drawn on it. When a player fails he is out. The last player is the winner.
(This would be a good game to review numbers in Spanish)
2. Las tres cosas (The three things)
Rules: One person is IT. IT has to say three things that it's possible to see (for example: a tree, a wall and a stone). Then, IT has to count until 10 (very slowly) or 20 (fast) while the rest of players run to touch the three things and to hide (a person can hide directly or can touch one (two or three) of the things before hiding). When IT finishes counting he/she open his/her eyes and looks around trying to see somebody, IT can walk only three steps.
If IT sees somebody, he/she says "Por… (and the name of the seen player)" "(FOR (and the name of seen player)". In this case, the seen player is out.
If IT doesn't see anybody, he/she says: "Vuelvo a contar" (I'm going to count again"). When IT starts to count again, the rest of the players continue touching the three things and hides again. When a person has touched the three called things, he/she to arrive to IT and touched IT without being discovered and he/she says: "Por mí" ("For me"). This person is the new IT and the game starts again.
(I could see making the three things items from vocabulary list and putting a pile of pictures or items for students to dig through.)
3. La Semana (The week)
Equipment: A space with some stairs.
Rules: There are six stairs that represent six days of a week: Monday, Tuesday... and Saturday. One player is IT and is on the ground. IT calls different days of the week without an order. Children go up and down to arrive to the stair that represents the day called. When IT call "Sunday!", everybody has to step on the ground and go up to the first stair. If in the moment that a player is stepping on the ground IT reaches to step on his foot the player stepped is the new IT.
Note: When children haven't six stairs they draw parallel lines on the ground that represents the stairs.
(This game would be good "as is" to practice the days of the week, though I would definitely opt for doing this on the ground rather than the stairs as to avoid a potential lawsuit. This is after all the U.S.A, not Mexico.)
4. Color, colorcito (Colour, little colour)
Rules: One person is IT. IT says: "Color, colorcito… (the name of a colour)" "Colour, little colour… (the name of a colour)".Then, all the players run to look for objects and things in that colour to be "on safe" and the leader must run after them to catch them before they can touch it. If IT catches someone, this person becomes the new IT.
(I have colored bean bags that I could bring so that students did not have to search so hard for things of a particular color. Paint chips from the hardware store would also work well.)
5. Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians)
Rules: Two parallel lines are drawn on the floor. These lines are separated about 8 - 10 meters. There are two teams, one of them is placed behind a line and the other team is placed behind the other one.
A player starts the game. He/she goes to the other team. The players of this team are waiting with a hand in front of them. The player who arrives walks in front of the players of the other team and suddenly hits the hand of a player, then he/she runs trying to return safely across the line of his/her team. The hit player tries to touch the opponent before he/she crosses their home line. If the player who hit cross his/her line without being touched by the other player, this last player is out. If the player who hit is touched before crossing his/her line, the player who hit is out.
Then it's the other team to send a player to hit another player. The game goes on and ends when a team has lost every player.
(This game doesn't offer much on the language side of things but could be a good activity after learning a little bit about the Moors and how their presence has influenced the culture of Spain. After that "boring" talk, they would probably need a game!)
Anyone else know any outdoor games that are great potential learning tools?
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