The grade 2/3 students started up a World Games unit yesterday. The central idea of this unit is "Many games played around the world have similar characteristics." Before having the students unwrap the central idea and discuss the lines of inquiry, we had the students play a great team game that originates in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic bordering Turkey, Georgia, and Russia. Having worked for two years at the International School of Azerbaijan in Baku (TISA), it was a game that I learned from my Azeri colleagues who I worked with in the PE department and is called 7 Rings. The skills of throwing, dodging, chasing, passing, and catching all come into the mix in this very fast-paced game. Achieving success depends upon teamwork and strategy.
As you can see from the slide show, the game is pretty fast-paced with lots of action, however, the Azerbaijan version of teh game requires kids to sit out once hit by the ball.
Bringing Inquiry into this Game:
I let each team have a few goes at rebuilding the tower. However, playing the Azerbaijan version of the game resulted in kids having to sit out once they were hit. After talking about this with the students, I asked two questions:
A) How can we change the game to allow for more participation?
B) What rule can we change so that kids do not ever have to sit out?
The students all agreed that the best way to allow for more participation would be to allow the rebuilding team to have a 'Protector' and this person would have their own dodgeball. The 'Protector' could throw and hit people from the Stop the Builders team. Excellent idea I told the class.
The students then inquired further into possible rule changes and came up with the idea that instead of sitting out after being hit by the ball, they could do 15 jumping jacks and then re-enter the game. Another great idea I told them!
The last decision the students made was that if the 'Protector' gets hit by the ball, they are out and have to do 15 jumping jacks as well. When the 'Protector' leaves the game, they are allowed to give the ball to a teammate who then becomes the new 'Protector'.
At this point, the only change that I made was that the games would now be timed (3 minutes). If at the end of the game, the rebuilders to not finish the tower, a point is awarded to the other team. If the rebuilders succeed in rebuilding, their team gets a point.
I will use this appoach with all the new world games that I teach the students in order to allow for the inquiry process to unfold and to prepare them for their summative assessment task at the end of the unit; Game Creation.
A) Explain aims and rules of any new game and let them play
B) Ask the students how they would change or modify it?
C) Play the new version of the game
D) Have the students complete the formative assessment task in their Sportfolios at the end of class.