Saturday, November 21, 2015

Venatio / Animal Hunt

This game is for those times when you need a lot of input on one or two structures, and you just don't have the brainpower to do another storyask. I came up with it on a day when the kids wanted to each hold a stuffed animal, and I needed a way to make that educational.


Object to "hide" - small stuffed animals like Beanie Babies are great, but you could do it with markers or really anything. The object can be one thing, or you can have a variety of them and let the Seeker choose.

Active Players:



Target Structures should be on the board. The first time I played this game, I wanted to get a ton of repetitions for "s/he goes." My board had "I go," "you go," and "s/he goes."

We'd also done a lot of previous work with "s/he wants" and some with "I want" and "you want" so I peppered those in as well. You could easily add forms of "has." You can also do a version of this with prepositional phrases (see below).

Basic Procedure:

1. Seeker stands at board with back to the class, eyes closed.
2. Some or all students have an object, or objects are hidden around the room.
3. Seeker follows Teacher's TL narration to look for the object.

That is very simplified because there are a ton of ways to change this game. The first time I played, it was like this:

"Goes" variation

1. Seeker stands at board with back to the class, eyes closed.
2. Teacher distributes objects to any students who want them. Hiders hold the objects under their desks or otherwise out of sight.
3. Seeker turns around. At this point the Seeker can choose what object they want to look for, like so:
Teacher: Do you want the bear?
Seeker: :shakes head:
Teacher: :cues student by pointing to phrase on board: "I (do not) want the bear."
Seeker: I do not want the bear.
Teacher: Do you want the dolphin? :points to phrase on board again:
Seeker: I want the dolphin.
Teacher: [Seeker] wants the dolphin!
Hiders can choose a location to "be," e.g. Africa or The Moon. You can do this before the first seeker, or re-do it each round, depending on what the kids want. The point of this step is to give the seated kids a choice to make in the game.
4. Teacher speaks with Seeker.
Teacher: Where are you going? :draw attention to "I'm going to..." on board"
Seeker: I'm going to The Moon. :goes:
Teacher: Seeker is going to the moon.
The Moon: :takes out object:
Teacher: Is there a dolphin on the moon? No, there is not a dolphin on the moon. There is a bear on the moon.
& repeat until object is found.

"Puts"/"Hides"/Prepositions variation
This variation is one I made up for a day when I needed a lot more "puts." I got over 75 in one class. Instead of having many objects and Hiders, we had one Object and one Hider per round. Everyone in one class wanted to be the Hider and no one wanted to be Seeker, so I made a rule that whoever was Seeker got to be the next Hider. Things went much more smoothly.

0. Establish ground rules: Object cannot be hidden inside personal property such as backpacks. If object is hidden in closet or toy box or similar, it needs to be obvious once the door/lid is opened- don't bury it. Object cannot be put in the trash bin or anywhere else gross. Do not hide the object on someone's person without their knowledge & permission.
1. Seeker stands at board with back to the class, eyes closed.
2. Hider takes object and puts it somewhere in the classroom.
3. Seeker turns around. Teacher speaks with Seeker.
Teacher: Does Hider put the object in Alicia's hat?
Seeker: :goes over to Alicia and looks in her hat:
Teacher: Ah, Hider does not put the object in Alicia's hat. Does Hider put the object on Josh's desk?
Seeker: :goes over to Josh's desk and looks:
& repeat until object is found.

The tricky thing with this is keeping it in the TL once they get into it. With some Seekers, I had to remind them repeatedly that they needed to wait for my narration before they went looking in a given place. I pointed out that without that, there was no reason for us to be playing the game. They generally cooperated after that.
The other thing is gauging the class interest level and making sure the rounds don't go on for too long, but every Seeker still gets their time in the limelight.

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