Foreign language teachers are finding out that games around the world inspire students to learn language and have fun.
The members of an after school club at Explorer K-8 School have been meeting to learn games from around the world, and have formed the International Games Club.
Third grader Hailey Crawford listened attentively to Spanish teacher Nelsida Sierra-Diaz’s explanation of the Italian card game Cassino.
Hailey’s game mates are eighth graders. The club is for middle schoolers, but younger siblings can belong if they can understand the game and older siblings are present. The club meets twice a month, and has about 20 members.
Sierra-Diaz teaches a variety of games that she learned as a child, as well as games some students suggest. She keeps a stockpile of games in her classroom, from all around the world. The games are not just board games.
“We play marbles outside and jacks and escargot, which is the French hopscotch, which is outside also,” said Sierra-Diaz.
When the club started, it was seeded by the school. Now that the club is three years old, the students raise their own money
“We do fundraisers throughout the year for games we want to buy,” Sierra-Diaz said.
One of the school custodians was a marbles champion in the Dominican Republic as a child. He was invited to show the children how to play the game