We love some truly different games from Peaceable Kingdom Press. Our current favorite is Hoot Owl Hoot!
There are many games in my classroom that lead to a traditional winner and “non-winner”. Checkers, Uno Moo, Lako’s School Game and Candyland frequently grace our shelves. The children both enjoy these games and are frustrated by them. Playing games you can sometimes lose is a buffering experience that prepares you for larger, more life effecting losses later in life. In other words, it is good for your child to win sometimes and lose sometimes. Think of it as life practice.
However, occasionally, it is refreshing to put your heads together with your friends and plan a route to accomplishment together. In Peaceable Kingdom Press’s cooperative board games, players strategize together to complete a goal. In the game above, players are trying to get the owls into the nest before the sun rises. The more owls you choose to use, the more complicated the game becomes. Players play with their cards face up because they are trying to plan ahead and figure out which combinations will get the most owls home in a hurry.
It must be a hit. The game has been pulled into play everyday since we introduced it last week. It is amazing to witness the evolution from simple one move, one owl, one person playing to coordinated strategy planning.
So far in our bird unit we have learned about what different birds look like, what they eat, where they live, and the sounds that they make. Last week we extended our affinity for birds by having the students create their own birds and all the details that go along with them.
The students started by rolling up newspaper into different sizes and taping them together to resemble a head, body, beaks, and even a tail. After the base of the body was ready, the students dipped strips of newspaper into a mixture of water and flour and smoothed them onto their bird. Some students loved the feeling of the ooey gooey mixture between their fingers (that eventually crept up their arms) while others were not as enthused. Some students felt they would best serve the project by becoming the recorder, documenting each step of the project through drawings. The projects were then left to dry over several days.
Since then, the students have started to discuss how they would like the birds to look. The group members decide what colors of paint to use and where, what to call the bird, if it is a male or female, where it might live, and what it eats.
Not only are the students working on their cooperation skills, but they are using their imaginations to create a world in which these birds may live. Plus, who could resist the opportunity to get a little messy and learn at the same time?