The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The "Fortunately, Unfortunately" Game

         I just saw this game in last week's Parade magazine, and although it was cited as a summer road-trip game, it has some classroom applications...

         As students are lining up (I'm an elementary school teacher, so my kids do line up for restroom breaks, to go to lunch, etc.) we could play a short round of this game; the first few students who can come up with a response can be at the head of the line.  It can also be used as a levity break during a lesson (see the second example at the end of this post).

       Begin by saying something that is frightening, like "Unfortunately, there is a tiger in our classroom."  A female student might respond, "Fortunately, it doesn't eat girls."  A male student might respond, "Unfortunately, it is staring at me, and it's licking its lips."  Another child might say, "Fortunately, each student in our class has a tiger muzzle in their desk, ready to use."

       This requires students to be quick on their feet when it comes to thinking.  It requires them to think about cause and effect in an applicable way.  And, students have to think outside the box for responses that work.

        During a lesson, if you have a student who gets your humor, you can engage in a little humorous fencing with a couple of rounds of this game.  (It shows that teaching is give and take...A classroom community is built on teachers dishing out and taking it.  Teachers can be the focus of laughter if care and respect runs both ways.)


        Unfortunately, __________ didn't do her homework, and the teacher
 is about to shoot fire out their nose directly at __________.

       Fortunately, I have a mirror, and the fire will hit the mirror, and bounce
right back to the teacher.

          What are some quick games you use that help your students think more quickly and more creatively?

           A writing friend of mine just got me on the trail of a book called Fortunately by Remy Charlip.  She got great results when using it with her students.  I am going to have to add that to my "buy" list.

          This friend is the type of writer who disguises herself.  On the surface, she is quiet and humble.  There are some who love the sound of their own voice, who are always trumpeting their own horn, who regularly are showcasing their skills...not this writer.  However, when you get into an in-depth discussion with her, and you find out the writerly life she leads (she belongs to a writers' group, she is constantly submitting her work for publication and contests, she watches people, always hunting for her next inspiration...), it just makes your mouth gape open.

         Check out her blog.     barb's blog

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sioux, Do you have a copy of a book with that title, Fortunately.......? We did a writing assignment after I had read the book. It was a wonderful time. The children really got into it.


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