Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fox and Geese: a tag game in the snow

It is time to add to my blog - after a year-long absence!

I want to explain a game that we played in the wintertime at our one-room country school. I played this game with my siblings as well in a snowy field on the farm. We called it "Fox and Goose", but it is technically "Fox and Geese".

I taught the game to my grade one students, and I explained it as a tag game in the snow. The first time we played, they had a hard time understanding that they had to stay in the pathways. Have the students follow you as you tramp out a large circle in the snow. Make several paths into the centre of the circle like the spokes of a wheel. The centre spot is "safe". They will probably catch on that the fox is "it"!

The difficulty of playing this on a school ground with hundreds of students is that you need new snow, with no tracks! On the morning after a big snowfall, I would take the students outside about twenty minutes before morning recess. We could make the track and then play before the recess bell brought everyone else outside! My class loved the excitement of designing the course and then playing the game!

I encouraged the children to teach the game to their parents and siblings and play at home.

When I played with my siblings, we "upgraded" from the simple circle to more convoluted pathways. Half the fun was designing the course!