The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.
Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)
The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969
The Happy Game
This is an example of a spiral game. Players work together to guess a target sentence and move a group marker to the centre before time is up (five minutes).
You'll first need to print out the cards and the board. Two versions of the board are available. The first makes a B4 sized board. The second requires cutting and sticking together and makes a B3 sized board. You will also need to supply your own six-sided dice and team mover. When playing the game don't use all the cards at once but add more each time a group is successful:
- Use the He, She & It happy cards
- Now add the They are happy cards.
- Remove the They cards, add he, she and it not happy cards
- Use all the cards.
Place the mover at the start on the large neutral smiley face. The game referee shuffles the cards and selects the top card. In turn the players try to guess what it is. If the guess is incorrect the referee indicates this with a "Nope!" "eh-err" or negative sounding noise, the sillier the better. When a player guesses correctly the referee reveals the card and the player gets to roll the dice and move the team marker around the track. If the marker lands on a special space follow the directions of the arrow moving closer or further from the goal as indicated. Set a time limit of five minutes for the players to get to the centre. This is tough with all the cards unless the players are very lucky or very fast.
Rather than make sentences the guesses can ask questions, "Is he happy?", "Is she unhappy?" etc. The referee replies with a sentence, "No he isn't, "No she isn't". When a player asks a question that matches the picture the referee says "Yes", shows the card and the player rolls the dice.
Rather than having one referee for the whole game the players can take turns. If the group has good rapport then the player that guesses becomes the referee. Otherwise just go round the table in turn.
When using the negative cards stick with one format for the whole game ie. "He is not happy.", "He is unhappy." or "He is sad.". The game referee can help the players by varying the way "no!" is said for incorrect guesses. When playing the game for the first time the teacher should take the roll of the referee to establish the tone for the game. No should be said in a friendly manner and first-time players especially need to be encouraged to guess quickly. If necessary the referee can list all the available choices which can help less able students produce a whole sentence.
getfile: The Happy GamePDF A4, 4 pages, 1.52 mb
(Makes B3 sized board) PDF B4 1 page, 388 kb
(Makes B4 sized board) PDF A4, 17 pages, 2.31 mb
(Makes 36 cards)
- Top Page
- Across The Table
- Add One More
- Be A Monster!
- Black Hole (board game)
- Bombs Away!
- Co-operative Quiz
- Dice Stack
- Fast Food Tag
- Find My Number
- Find The Penny
- The Happy Game
- Line Up!
- Maze Challenge
- Natty Narration
- Nose Nose Nose
- One Step Forward!
- Pair Fluency Match 7 - Death Wish
- Pair Fluency Match 7 - Go Green!
- Parrot Parade
- Passport Control
- Reach The Top!
- Tickle Time
- What Cards
- Which One?
- Whose Shoe?
- World Cup Football 2018
- You, You, Me!
- Wake Up
- Songs and Music
- Strips (songs and otherwise)
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