So for me this is a perfect time to share examples of the target culture and let students learn and compare families around the world.
Here’s was my starting point:
Language Goal: I can talk about what my family and I like to do together.
This on it’s own is lacking. A lot of my students could probably already do this. Others don’t want to talk about their family.
This is where culture saves the day! Here is my NEW and IMPROVED focus.
Investigation of products and practices: I can identify games associated with family events.
Understanding of cultural perspectives: I can identify the influence of religion on family activities.
Participation in cultural interactions: I can play traditional Hispanic games.
I started class by posing this question:
I gave them a few minutes to think, then we had our TL conversation. We talked about WHEN we play games, WHERE, WHY we like certain games, and WHO the most competitive person is in our families. Then I asked them about traditional Hispanic games. Soccer was their best answer, and at that point I knew they were going to learn and experience a lot in this lesson.
I chose these three traditional games (mainly because I found them at a market in San Antonio during ACTFL and was dying to use them).
(Check them out on Amazon: Loteria, Perinola, and Dominoes)
I set up stations around the room with the games pieces, the name of the game, and 3 simple questions.
¿Cuál es el origen del juego? ¿Dónde es popular? ¿Cómo se juega?
They had 15 minutes to investigate (in any language they wanted), get the game started, and play! It was awesome watching a few jump right in and divide up the research. They started playing and arguing about game rules and re-explaining them to each other. Each group did their own thing and it looked messy, but I loved it. I saw collaboration and teamwork and problem-solving. It was hilarious watching them play Loteria. It was sooooo slow and everyone needed to see the picture.
At the end of class, I asked them a few final questions in the TL.
Which game was the most complicated?
Which one was simple?
Which game is popular in Mexico?
Which game is popular in Venezuela?
Where did dominoes come from?
Which game is your favorite? Why?
The next day I started class with this video.
When they saw how fast the REAL loteria was, they wanted to play again. So we did. I found a native speaker to be my “griton” and we played again!
Needless to say, the secret to getting students to communicate about new topics and practice old ones is to make the lesson about CULTURE. Students naturally bring it back to themselves and their opinions PLUS they learn something new!
What traditional games have you played with students? How did you teach new language with the cultural experience?
I’d like to do jump-rope rhymes one day, but I only know one. (“Osito, Osito…”) Can anyone help?
Great idea! There is also a lotería app that I downloaded for free for low-budget classes. My question is, what kinds of resources did you have available at each station for the students’ research?
Most of my students have smart phones but I also left an iPad and a print out of Wikipedia page for each game.
My sister-in-law is from Venezuela and she said a game called “Truco” is also popular. Also she said board games that we play here in the U.S. are popular too. Monopoly, Life, and Scrabble.
In Cuba, we have a song that we sing for a “Ring-Around-the-Rosie” kind of game.I think it would lend itself to jumping rope. It goes like this:
A la rueda, rueda
De pan y canela.
Dame un besito
Y vete para la escuela.
Si no quieres ir,
Acuestate a dormir.
This video, while annoying, gives you an idea of the tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaiaqB7rDIo
Check out this video of kindergartners playing La Rueda. They must be having a special day at school and are all dressed in regional costume. Any idea where this is?
Looks like traditional Colombia clothing.
In the Dominican Republic we used to play a game called “El Juego de la Vaca”. The game can be played in pairs or in large groups. We used to have tons of fun playing it!! Good memories! Here is a video I found in YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YyFPGwSGqo
“El juego de la vaca ya empezó,
ea, ea, o,
es muy divertido, si, senor,
ea, ea, o,
uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez.”
“Truco” is also played in Argentina.
Do you remove the cards with el borracho and el Negrito?
Depends on my class and school environment. Classes that are older and more mature, I leave them and we talk about them. Question I have… would Mexicans remove these cards for their children? Just curious! I would still remove them for younger students here.
In your lesson did you have each group play each game? I’m curios because it seems like they would have to to be able to answer which game was their favorite. If they did play all 3, how long are your classes and was this all done in one day? My classes are 45 minutes so with transition time I would have to cut down the 15 mins to 10 or take this into 2 days. Did you find that 15 mins is just right, or could it be longer, shorter? Thanks in advance!! I love coming to your site for great ideas!
The “what’s your favorite game” question came as an opener for the lesson before we played. It was fun to see our classes’ culture and then later compare it to hispanic culture. I had 70 min. classes so we did play all games in one class (15 mins each). Time could be longer or shorter based on your students… all depends on them! I found 15 was enough and we later played loteria together as a whole class and they got a better feel for how it was supposed to go. (Haha – in small groups they were playing sooo slow. I sped things way up for a little more authentic experience!)
Hope that helps!
I’m curious as to what games the French teachers at your school included for this lesson. Any chance you could ask?
We don’t have French at our school right now so I haven’t asked! Any other French teachers our there that can suggest typical French games?
I looked online and found “Tuck” or “jeux des quatres cheveaux” and “swap by numbers” and “escargot”. Have you heard of those games?
How do you play perinola? I mean, how do you do so (what do have the kids use) they’re not gambling and complying with our no unhealthy food mandate. Grapes? Haha! In need of help/ideas!
I had a cup full of euros (most had never seen one) that I left out for them. They divided up the coins to play, and the person with them all at the end won… nothing! Ha! They were just the winner! You could give them a homework pass or a healthy treat like a mini-banana or I would have a few of the limon-pepino Gatorades on hand.
Some were extra competitive for a prize but most just wanted to win because they were caught up in game mode. Don’t feel like you have to award a prize for this. Your call!