The Teacher Says

Age Range: 5 - 11
By: Ann Gay

This game is adapted from the 'Simon says' game and encourages: balancing, stretching, cardio vascular 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 cardio vascular 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 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 practise 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 correct command.

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


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