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EFNV K-8 Elementary Education Component

This game is from the UNESCO website on non-violence education: for others see peacegames.org and The Institute for Peace and Justice resources page for educators.

1. Cat

Essential Qualities: co-operation; corporeal activity; relaxation 10 minutes; open space; no material required.

Goal of the Game: having the cat chase the mice and the mice trying to escape him.

How to Play: Cats chase mice everywhere in the world but in this game, once a mouse has been caught he becomes a cat himself.

Here are some variations of the game:

Cats in Love

One player is chosen to be the cat. Everyone else is a mouse. The mice run around. If the cat threatens to catch one, the mice try to find a mouse to hug because then the cat can't catch him. The leader of the game should make sure that the mice are well separated from each other most of the time, and that they don't form groups of more than two.

The Twins

The players group themselves in pairs of cats and mice with their arms intertwined. The pairs of cats and mice should run around until a pair of cats touches a pair of mice. The two mice then become two cats. Once the players have become accustomed to running in pairs, they can be asked to face each other while holding arms and move around that way.

The Frozen Mice

This time only one cat runs around. As soon as he touches a mouse, the mouse should freeze with his legs apart. To free him, the other mice have to go under his legs.

2. Hidden Intentions

Essential Qualities: group awareness; concentration; emulation

Secondary Qualities: co-operation; relaxation

Requirements: 30 minutes; anywhere; no material required.

Goal of the Game: guessing what you're supposed to do

How to Play: One person leaves the room while the others decide on what he has to do when he comes back: for example, he might have to climb onto a table, move an object, or do something with one or more players (take off someone's sweater and give it to someone else). When the player comes back, he has to try and figure out what it is he is supposed to do. To help him, the other players sing a little song or make noises: if the player is "cold", the others should sing very softly and if he is "hot" they should sing more loudly. The participants can decide on a sound or word to call out when the action to accomplish has been discovered.

Interest of the Game: using a non-verbal means of communication that is relatively precise between a group and an individual.

3. Follow the Leader

Essential Qualities: co-operation; concentration; responsibility

Secondary Qualities: corporeal activity; creativity

Requirements: 20 minutes; open space; no material required.

Goal of the Game: guiding someone

How to Play: The players decide who wants to be the guide, face each other and put their right hand in the left hand of their partner, palm to palm. At the signal, the guide moves his partner around with gentle movements of the palm, in complete silence. After a few minutes, the players should switch roles. When the players have had some practice playing the game, they can try a variation that requires them to listen more attentively: now the players alternate between being the guide and the guided in the same turn all while remaining silent. (See also The Mirrors Game)

Interest of the Game: developing a respect for others through a profound and subtle awareness of another person.

4. Everything will work out

Essential Qualities: creativity; emulation; overcoming obstacles

Secondary Qualities: group awareness; concentration 20 minutes; anywhere, no material required.

Goal of the Game: finding a remedy for something that is wrong

How to Play: The group is divided into 2 teams. Taking turns, each participant is going to say that something is wrong - this can be a real event or made up, and big or small in nature. After each problem has been called out, a player from the opposing team proposes a solution which has been decided on by the whole team. For example, "I forgot my notebook!"- "We'll loan you some paper!" or "The wall is falling down" - "Let's put it up again."

Interest of the Game: developing an optimistic outlook by helping each other with constructive ideas.