Sunday, 9 August 2015

Cat's Cradle, Witches Broom and an Eiffel Tower - Learning String Games

Learning String Games - Tuakana/Teina Session

In Week 3 we decided to link our inquiry topic - Practicing Peaceful Play - with a Tuakana/Teina session and had the students exploring different types of string games.

It was fantastic to see a mixture of 'expert others' in both the Year 7 and the Year 4 classes. Students who were able to share their existing knowledge of string games (for example Cat's Cradle) and teach their buddy.

I introduced the students to a selection of youtube clips and they were off!! Students watched the videos and taught each other how to complete the more complicated string games like the Eiffel Tower and Fishnet. 

It was really interesting to see the different ways that students learnt - some responded really well to the videos while others learnt better by having a buddy talk them through the steps.

A couple of the students showed great patience teaching me how to correctly make the Cat's Cradle and to 'cut off my fingers', and I think this kind of learning and teaching experience is invaluable. The students are empowered to take control of their learning and to understand that they have skills and knowledge to share. 

My highlight was seeing the persistence and focus of many of the students, who set themselves challenges to complete complicated and difficult string games. It certainly paid off with many students mastering a range of different games.


Following on from the exploration session, the students were asked to create step-by-step instructions to teach others how to complete a specific string game. Check out Marcus, October and Mason's instructional presentation here.

I found that some students were much more suited to oral instructions and so I borrowed a couple of Ipads and got some of the students to make their own instructional videos. These just need a little editing before posting but check back on the class blog soon.

A thoroughly enjoyable set of lessons and it's great to see that these types of old fashioned games still make up an important and fun part of children's lives today.