Monday, September 10, 2012

There Are Rules? Social Skills Game

A friend of mine, who is a special education teacher, was perusing her favorite blogs for some back to school activities.  She was looking for something about rules at the beginning of the school year.

She came across this great activity for explaining and developing rules on Pamela Rountree's  Teaching 4 Real  blog!!  Pamela created this amazing activity which I downloaded from her TeachersPayTeachers store for FREE!!!!!!! ( I heart TeachersPayTeachers, but that is a post for another day!!) 

I thought wow!!, this would be a great introduction activity for my 4th grade social skills group!!  Basically, to play the There Are Rules? game/activity, you need 2 dice and some kids!  The premise is that you just hand out the dice and tell the students to "start playing" and walk away!! 

For my social skills group, I put the 2 dice down on the table while the 4 students were eating lunch (It's a Lunch Bunch!!).  I told them "okay, start playing!"  The kids all looked at me like I was strange!!  After a about a minute of them looking at me and each other, one student picked up both dice and took a turn rolling.  He passed the dice to the player on his left who also took 1 roll, saying what he got.  That player passed the dice to the player on his left, who also took his turn.  He passed the both dice to the boy on his left (skipping me).  That boy started telling the group about the various probabilities of the dice.  I interjected, "ahh a rule!"  The boys continued passing the dice like this for a few minutes with out any rules.  Then I said "now all odd numbers are 1 point."  So they rolled trying to get odd numbers.   A few minutes later I said "even numbers are worth 2 points."  The boy to my left, rolled 2 fives and he made a rule that that is worth 10 points which is the most points.  He then proceeded to roll the dice several more times, seeing what he could get.  This of course annoyed the other players causing them to correct him, beg for the dice, look to me to stop it and grabbing the dice from him.  What a perfect scenario to introduce the reason why we have rules...the object of the game, Brilliant!!!!!!!! 

To close the activity, we discussed why the game got out of hand, what could have prevented that and why rules are important to have and know upfront!!  Even though this was labeled as a back to school activity, it also turned out to be a Fantastic Social Skills Activity too!!  The kids really understood this concept and asked to make up their own game!!  We are going to do that tomorrow!!

What cool activities have you done to introduce the idea of rules?


1 comment:

  1. I've done something similar with the WOW award. I tell the kids my puppet and I are giving out the WOW award . . . they all sit up straight and get quiet trying to imagine what they need to do to win it . . . then my white seal puppet picks a kid with a white shirt on . . . to shouts of "that's not fair!" So we talk about why we need the criteria (or rules) up front.

    Very fun and engaging discussions ensue!

    Great lesson (as always)!