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Giants Wizards and Dwarves

Author:  Toby Kurk
level:  Elementary
target_English:  Only "giant" "wizard" and "dwarf" and basic classroom games phrases.
big_small:  Big groups


This is a physical team Janken ( rock, paper, scissors) game. It does not involve much of any English as such, but it is tremendous fun, and has no prerequisites whatsoever. It is much more difficult to explain than to demonstrate and play. Here is my honed method for presenting it;

First teach the three words, giant, wizard and dwarf, with the actions;

  Giant - fists up above the head.
  Wizard - arms out straight to the front, fingers pointing and wiggling (like the emperor shooting lightening from his fingers at Luke in "Return of the Jedi")
  Dwarf - Crossing the arms, hands hold the ears. Crouch a little. Or, hands on hips and crouch a little.

I like to sketch on the board instead of using flashcards.

Then explain that the game works like Janken; stone beats scissors, scissors beats paper, paper beats stone. A sketch with arrows does the trick.
Similarly, in this game; giant beats wizard, wizard beats dwarf, dwarf beats giant.

Then use the JTE or some bright spark to demonstrate with; everyone shouts "Giant, wizard, dwarf, 1, 2, 3" together. The players face each other and do the actions as they shout "Giant, wizard, dwarf" and rub their hands together during the "1, 2, 3." and then on the beat that would be 4, the players and shout either "Giant," "Wizard" or "Dwarf" and make the action. Get the class to work out who has won.

When they get it after a couple of demonstrations, explain that the looser has to run to safety and touch the wall behind them, while the winner has to try to touch the looser before the looser reaches the wall. If the winner is successful then the looser joins the winner's team. The team decides which they are all going to be next; giant, wizard or dwarf. It is important that both teams shout loudly and do the action clearly.

Demonstrate a few more times. When the winner catches the other team, pick another volunteer to be the opposite team. Split the class into two teams when everyone has got the idea. Boys v girls lends a friendly competitiveness. Have the teams huddle together separately to make their decision, then they line up at arm's length facing each other along the middle of the room. Each team's safe zone is the wall directly behind them, running off to other walls is not allowed. One person can catch any number of the opposite team, but it is usually a good idea to keep a hold of them to prove that they have been caught.

I have played this game with both large and small classes, of all elementary grades. They have enjoyed playing it every time without fail.

Toby Kurk







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