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This is a very popular game!
1. Split the class into groups of 4 or 5 people.
2. Tell them to Rock, Paper, Scissors ( see the Genki English song) within the group to select who will be the first person, the second, third etc.
3. The first person from each group stands up and takes a piece of string from your hand.
4. The person with the longest piece gets to play the game.
5. That kid then comes to the front.
6. The student then winds the string around their finger. But they can only wind the string when they are saying outloud an sums they know.
7. When they are not talking they can't wind the string. They only wind when they are saying sums.
8. When they get to the end their team gets a point. The kids return the string to the teacher.
9. The second in line kid from each group stands up and each takes a piece of string.
10. Continue from step 5.
For the string I use brightly coloured shoe laces. I have four that are just one lace long, 3 that are 2 strings tied together, one that is 3 laces long and one that is four laces long. That way its easy to compare who has the longest string!
The kids learn to cheat by watching what colour is the longest. But if you have each end of the long ones a different colour you can change which end is at the top and hence confuse them!
Another good idea is to play the Criss Cross game and have the last three kids come to the front to play the String Game! This time all 3 of them have to speak, but some people will have short strings which is quite fun!
The coolest thing about this is that sometimes kids will be convinced they can't get to the end of the string. They may even begin to cry! But if you have taught them the golden rule of "losing doesn't mean losing, it just means try again!", their friends will keep pushing them on saying "You can do it!". Once they do get to the end they'll have a huge feeling of achievement!
If you like this idea, please tell your friends!