Monday, April 22, 2024

The Teacher Says

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 5-11
Contributor:
Ann Gay

This game is adapted from the ‘Simon says’ game and encourages: balancing, stretching, cardiovascular exercise, and listening skills. It’s better to keep the game fast-paced to engage children and to playfully ‘catch them out’.

The teacher calls out a command, e.g. “Miss Smith says do 5 star jumps” (to encourage cardiovascular exercise). The teacher can model the move correctly but sometimes perform the ‘wrong’ move, e.g. tuck jumps. or “Miss Smith says stretch as high as you can on one foot” (to encourage balancing skill), but the teacher curls up in a ball.

If the game is kept pacy, children will find themselves incorrectly copying the teacher’s movement instead of the verbal command!


This game can be adapted for a cool-down activity as well: warm-down stretches etc.

It can also be used for classroom practice if there are a few minutes to spare and is also a good calming down and behaviour management technique. For example, the teacher can stand at the front of the class and begin the game by wiggling their fingers (a signal my class have learnt which immediately grabs their attention). The teacher then says, “Miss Smith says touch your nose” while the teacher touches her ear, or, “Miss Smith says pat your head” while the teacher pats her stomach. To get the class to be calm, a good final command is “Miss Smith says fold your arms,” and model the correct command.

I have found that whispering commands and modelling calm, slow movements encourage further relaxation and calmness in the class.

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