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There is a bird in a poem by T. S. Eliot who says that mankind cannot bear very much reality; but the bird is mistaken. A man can endure the entire weight of the universe for eighty years. It is unreality that he cannot bear.

Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)

The Lathe of Heaven, 1971

Christmas Up And Down

Choice Card: Christmas Up And Down
Target:
Christmas vocabulary, numbers
Age:
elementary aged and up
Duration:
5 - 10 minutes?
Class Size:
Small Groups (large class possible)
Energy Level:
medium
Type:
Co-operative Whiteboard game
Equipment:
Up & Down Board, Marker, Timer
Christmas
counting
words
spelling

Introduction: Up and Down game-boards are similar to traditional Snakes and Ladder boards. In Snakes and Ladders players usually go up the ladders and down the snakes. With an Up an Down game when players land on a picture square they move to the square with the matching picture. Sometimes this is up and sometimes this is down.

Method of play: Put the game board on the whiteboard and place the marker on the start. Decide on a time limit and start the clock. In turn players call out Christmas vocabulary. The marker is moved a number of spaces equalling the length of the word. For example, the word “bell” is 4 spaces, the word “mistletoe” is 9 spaces. How far can the players get within the time limit?

Note: The easiest way is for players to take turns calling out vocabulary and for the teacher to write the vocabulary on the board and then the group counts the number of letters together. Alternatively, players can write words and once a word is correctly written it is transferred to the whiteboard and the marker moved. Words are written on the whiteboard so that they are not used more than once. It is a good idea for players to look ahead and make sure they don't end up going down.

Of course, there is no necessity to limit the game to Christmas Vocabulary. Any theme can be used.

An alternative to using a timer is to limit the number of words that can be called - how far can the group get up the board using, say, twenty words?

GetFile Note: There are two files that can be downloaded. The first makes a large board suitable for putting on a white board, the second makes a small board for using on a table.