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Learning games from around the world

(Information in this section comes from the Vietnamese Multigrade Teacher's Handbook.)

Children love to play games. Given the opportunity, they'll make up rules for new games, using balls, bottle caps, or whatever's available as the raw materials. Games that involve role-playing, solving simulated problems, or using specific skills and information can interest children in the curriculum and in learning.

Games can be structured to lead to active learning. And this learning can go right to the development of communication, analysis, decision-making, and other thinking skills.

Even familiar games can be used for learning. Some of the games played in schools in Vietnam include:

    - dominoes
    - bingo
    - dice
    - ten questions

You can design materials for many of these games yourself.

These games and their materials can also be modified to connect more directly to the curriculum. You can, for example, create domino cards with geometric shapes that can be matched with each other. Also see activities and games for more ideas.

Journal activity: Games for learning

Create learning activities based on the games that children play.

Observe the games that children in your class play at lunch, during recess, and after school. What kinds of rules do they use for keeping score? Do they sing songs or use rhymes?

Can you connect one of these games to a topic that you teach?

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Last revised April, 1999
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