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Map Dash

Author:  Jeremy
level:  Elementary
target_English:  Country Names
big_small:  Small Groups
  Age: For years 4-6

Map Dash is a high energy (sometimes too much so) game for teaching geography. There is a lot of running but it also needs a magnetic white/black board, so the ideal place would be a large "playroom" rather than a gym or normal class.


1 Large world map (the bigger the better) most school have them. Japanese is OK
4 or more magnetic buttons
a magnetic blackboard
lots of space

1- Preparation:
Divide the class in at least 2 groups and up to 4. Any more than 4 is getting a little dangerous. Line them up at the back of the class (try to give them at least 10 meters of running space to the board). Between the students and the board place the magnetic buttons on the floor, one in front of each group. On the board put up the big world map. Show the students the game a few times, they usually get it pretty quickly.

2- Language Practise:
Hold up a map. For example New Zealand. Then ask "Where are you from?" the students reply "I'm from New Zealand!"

3- The race:
Yell "Go!" and the students run up to the board (on the way scooping up their button, kindda like rugby) and try to be the first one to put their teams button on the right country on the map (watch the boys, they can be a little rough) for one point. Keep a score on the board.

   You can also have "challenge countries" for more points. For example the US and Australia are easy but Italy is really hard. Its hilarious watching them sprint up to the board, stop for a minute to figure out where it is, then slam the button down when they finally figure it out.

That's all. Simple.

Again this game can be at little rough so make sure you have plenty of space and not too many groups. I've never had any injures from this game because I only play it with older kids and only in a big space. However I can see how there could be problems.

I'm a new teacher and this is my first game submission (I have other games) so this game maybe could be made better. Suggestions are welcome.

Being from New Zealand and being a rugby fan, I think all my games are high-energy, but I'm always careful how I run them and the kids seem to really like them.

(Maybe some photos soon)


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