Hand Games - Lesson #1

Materials:

Click here to see the rules of the Hand Games

Click here to read Hand Games story.

Focus:

Introduction to the game of Hand Games.

Safety Issues:

During the Hand Games participants spend a lot of time kneeling on the floor. This position can be very uncomfortable. It is recommended students stretch, and periodically stand and stretch if there are feelings of discomfort.

Lesson Plan

The Hand Games requires an understanding of the rules and a knowledge of the hand signals that are used during the game. The first class with the students, time is spent watching the Dene Games video and/or DVD. It is important for students to understand how the game is played, and this is best observed by video. After the students have watched the video I then move into the hand signals. For the sake of simplicity and to increase student participation our classes only use 4 basic signals, like used in the Arctic Winter Games. It should be noted that there are many other signals that are familiar to Dene regions, which, if you have not seen or participated with them can be very confusing.

After I have shown the students the signals which we will use I give them a copy of the signals and ask them to learn these signals, even practice them at home with their family.

Teacher Notes:

It is important that students really understand the signals before participating in the Hand Games. Once students have an understanding of the signals, the ability to play the game and understand what is happening makes for an enjoyable experience.

Hand Games - Lesson #2

Materials:

Click here to see the rules of the Hand Games

Focus:

Participation in the Hand Games

Safety Issues:

During the Hand Games participants spend a lot of time kneeling on the floor. This position can be very uncomfortable. It is recommended students stretch, and periodically stand and stretch if there are feelings of discomfort.

Lesson Plan

As students come into the gym have all the mats, music, playing sticks, sheets and pennies set up and ready. Ask students to remove all footwear and place along the walls of gym. Using the handout of the 4 hand signals go over each sign with the students and what it means in relation to what hand it is referencing. I often use 4 students and have everyone else watch while I go through each hand signal. When you feel the students are comfortable with these hand signs, proceed with an opening game. Divide the entire class up into 2 groups, if the class is too large, have one group watch while another group participates. I usually make 2 teams of 7-9 players per side. I usually pick the captains to begin and have these two people begin the process of seeing which team will hide the object and which team will guess for the object. I then turn on the stereo, not too loud, but so students can hear the drumming, it adds a flavor of imagination. It is important that the teacher acts as the score keeper so students can understand how the scoring sticks work.

Teacher Notes

It is important that each participant has an opportunity to be captain, this way they learn the different hand signals and feel a sense of leadership and self-esteem. However, there may be some students that do not feel comfortable, allow them to opt out of the role of captain, this way they will build their confidence.

Hand Game - Lesson #3

Materials:

Focus

Skill and development acquisition. Depending on the skill and development level I will determine whether I should keep large teams of 7-8 players or move onto teams of 4 players.

Safety Issues

During the Hand Games participants spend a lot of time kneeling on the floor. This position can be very uncomfortable. It is recommended students stretch and periodically throughout the game stand and stretch if there are feelings of discomfort.

Lesson Plan

During this class students are grouped into teams of 4 and practice their Hand Games skills against other teams. I usually mix the teams up, with both boys and girls on each team, have the mats and bed sheets all set up with a photocopy of hand signs on each mat so students can look at what each sign means.

As a teacher I move from mat to mat watching and addressing concerns and offering encouragement as they play.

Teacher Notes

It is very important that students realize that this is a practice class and it is not about winning or losing, just understanding how the game is played. If there are enough students, I will designate an official for each game so students will learn how the scoring system works.

Hand Games - Lesson #4

Materials:

Click here to see Creating Tournament

Focus:

Participation in the Hand Games

Safety Issues:

During the Hand Games participants spend a lot of time kneeling on the floor. This position can be very uncomfortable. It is recommended students stretch and periodically stand and stretch if there are feelings of discomfort.

Lesson Plan

Having seen the students play last class, I use this knowledge to put teams of 4 together, often mixing the girls with the boys. I create a draw similar to the Rotation Method, this way there is more participation and no emphasis put on winning. During the class, I recommend that all participants take turns as captains; however, in my experience students enjoy picking the stronger player and more experienced player as captain. I usually give each game a 10-15 minute time frame, depending on class size, time and the size of the tournament. After each game is over the captain lets me know who won. Sometimes the tournament may have to include 2 classes. At this point, if we are taking score I will record the result and let them know who they are playing next.

Teacher Notes

It is very important that students realize it is not about winning, itís about having fun. As well, you may need more than one class to complete.