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close this bookNon-formal Education Training Module (Peace Corps, 1991, 182 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentWhat is Nonformal Education?
View the documentAdult Learning
View the documentSession: 3 Helping People Identify Their Needs
View the documentFacilitation Skills - Part 1
View the documentFacilitation Skills - Part 2
View the documentNFE Materials Development
View the documentGames in NFE
View the documentPlanning
View the documentEvaluation
View the documentLooking Back/Looking Ahead
View the documentAppendix I: Warm- Ups
View the documentEvaluations
View the documentReferences

Games in NFE

Rationale

Games are appropriate NFE tools when they are used not just for fun, but to encourage people to take charge of their own leaning and development. In this session, Volunteers adapt a game to their particular cultural context through a process of discussion with local people. They then look at other games that have been used successfully in development and create their own guidelines for adapting other games to development work.

Objectives of Session

· To adapt a game to the local cultural context.
· To create guidelines for adapting games to NFE activities.

Activity Sequence

1. Warm-up

15 minutes

2. Adapting a Game to the Local Context

100 minutes

Snakes and Ladders


BREAK

15 minutes

3. Other Games Used In Development

15 minutes

4. Creating Guidelines for Adapting Games

25 minutes

5. Evaluation

10 minutes

Total Time Required

180 minutes

Materials Needed

· Flip chart paper
· Handouts:

Snakes and Ladders grids-One set per small group plus one set per participant (to take to site)

· Rules for Snakes and Ladders - One per participant
· 24" x 24" cardboard (optional) - 1 per small group
· Colored markers
· Glue and/or tape
· Scissors (one pa small group)

Trainer Preparation

1. Read through the session with your co-traina and decide together on roles and responsibilities and the options you want to use.

2. Collect any reference materials you have on games in development (see References at the end of the session). Have them on hand for participants to look at during the break and to borrow after the session.

3. Assemble materials, photocopy handouts.

4. Make sure you have some HCNs willing to participate in the Snakes and Ladders game adaptation exercise (Activity 1). If you have no counterparts participating in the training, invite language instructors and cross-cultural coordinators to work with the Volunteers.

5. Be sure the participants who signed up to do the warm-up and evaluation have the materials they need and are ready.

Activity 1: Warm-up - Pictionary

Activity Time 15 minutes

Purpose To demonstrate a game that can be used in NFE activities.

Step - by - step

1. Ask the group how many know how to play the game Pictionary. Ask if someone will explain the idea of the game to those who don't know it. For this warm-up, you can use thew following short version of the game:

Participants divide into two teams. Each team meets to decide on something that a member of the other team will draw for their own team members to guess - (Example: Peace Corps Training, language class, etc.) Each team writes their request on a slip of paper. Each team chooses someone to draw for them. Team 1 gives their slip of paper to the member of team 2 who has been chosen to draw. This person has 2 minutes to draw on flip chart paper (no letters or numbers allowed) while his/her team guesses.

Then team 2 gives their request to a member of team 1, who draws it while the rest of team 1 guesses. The team that guesses right in the shortest amount of time (or that guesses right at all) wins.

2. Suggest that the group divide into teams and play the game.

3. Ask the group, and especially any HCNs present, if people in the local culture might enjoy playing this game as a warm-up for a meeting or a training session. What problems might come up in playing it with different kinds of groups? (e.g. Ministry officials might consider it childish; a non-competitive society might not see the point of one team winning and the other losing, etc.) How might the game be adapted for such groups in this culture?

Activity 2: Adapting a Game to the Local Context - Snakes and Ladders

Activity Time 100 minutes

Purpose To adapt a simple game to different NFE sectors in the local cultural context.

NOTE: This activity is divided into 4 parts:

Explanation of Activity

20 minutes

Adapting Messages to Local Context

25 minutes

Game Construction

30 minutes

Processing

25 minutes

Step - by - Step

Explanation of Activity (20 minutes)

1. Explain that games such as the warm-up (above) are fun and can be used for various purposes (breaking the ice, energizing a group, etc.) but that other games may have a purpose more directly linked to development. In this activity, participants will work with a game that can be used in various sectors and adapted in different ways to fit the local context.

Explain that the group will work with a simple game that they probably already know: Snakes and Ladders. This game has been adapted by UNICEF to the local situation in several African countries in order to teach health messages. It can also be used to teach or reenforce learning in other sectors such as forestry, animal traction, small business, etc.

2. Suggest that participants divide into groups according to sector or area of interest.

Each group will be given four handouts that when put together and glued to a piece of cardboard, make a game board. The game board consists of a grid of 100 numbered squares, with 8 snakes and 9 ladders already drawn on them. (Show participants the handouts and demonstrate how they go together.)

3. Say that in order for them to understand how they will adapt their game board, you will first review how to play the game. Let them know that the rules of the game also are on a handout that you will give them to take to their sites.

How to Play Snakes and Ladders:

Players find a stone or other marker to be their piece. All pieces start at square one. Pieces advance along a grid of numbered squares by the throw of dice. If they land at the base of a ladder drawn on the board, they go directly to the square at the top of the ladder. If they land at the head of a snake, the snake swallows them and they make a quick descent to its tail, which rests on a lower square. Positive advice is written at the bottoms and tops of the ladders, while warnings are written at the heads and tails of the snakes.

For example: In an adaptation of the game to the Liberian cultural context, a message at the head of the snake says: "Drinking from creeks and rivers." and at the tail it says: " gives you a running stomach. (the local term for diarrhea). Each snake has a different warning that starts at its head and ends at its tail.

The ladders also have messages at their bottoms and tops. For example, in the Liberian game, a message at the bottom of a ladder says "A breast-fed baby." and the message at the top says, " stays fat and strong. Each ladder has similar positive advice.

In order to make the game more attractive-as well as accessible to illiterate groups pictures are drawn on the game board along with the messages.

4. Ask participants if they have any questions about the game.
5. Say that you will now explain how the game can be adapted to different sectors by using different kinds of positive advice and warnings. Write the words "POSITIVE ADVICE and WARNING" on two sides of the blackboard. Have participants think of a few examples of positive advice and warnings for different sectors (forestry, water and sanitation, small enterprise, etc.). Write them on the board.

Some examples for small business:

Positive Advice Clever advertising sells a new product. Warning Not enough stock loses sales.

Have participants think of some social messages as well. For example: Working cooperatively brings everybody profit.

6. Explain to participants that in order to be sure to respect the local culture and also to involve the community in creating the games, it is important for them to talk with people first about the messages, language and pictures they want to appear on the game board. Let them know they will have a chance to practice this by working with the

HCNs who have been invited to participate or who are already participants in the workshop.

Say that participants can now work in groups by sector or area of interest to plan different adaptations of Snakes and Ladders. First, they will have 25 minutes to discuss the positive advice and warnings that make sense in the local context with the HCNs in their group. Next, they will have 30 minutes to write the messages and draw the pictures on the game board.

7. Show participants the four handouts that go together to make up the game board. Say that after their discussions, each group will get the four handouts, a piece of cardboard, some markers, some glue and a pair of scissors to put their game board together. Let them know that they each will also be given four more handouts that they can take to their sites to try adapting the game with people in their local community.

Adapting Messages to the Local Context (25 minutes)

1. Divide the group into small groups by sector or area of interest. Be sure there are some HCNs in each group (See Trainer Preparation 4). Remind the groups that they will have 25 minutes to discuss what would be appropriate in the local context. They should think of 9 messages with positive advice and 8 warnings (corresponding to the 9 ladders and the 8 snakes on the completed game board). They should include some social messages as well as informational ones. Suggest that they discuss each message thoroughly to make sure it is socially acceptable and relevant.

NOTE: Be sure the groups understand that each small group will focus on their own area of interest or sector (A group of Health Volunteers will think of health messages, Forestry Volunteers will focus on forestry, etc.). Messages will be more focused and relevant if each group thinks of a specific audience for their game (e.g. 10 year old boys, illiterate women farmers, etc.)

2. Ask if there are any questions about the activity.

3. Suggest that small groups can now go to their break-out rooms or corners of the large training room. Keep time (25 minutes). Circulate to make sure everyone understands the directions and to give suggestions if participants seem stuck.

Game Construction (30 minutes)

1. Give each group the four handouts, markers, glue, scissors and a piece of cardboard.

Also, give each participant the four extra handouts to take back to their sites as well as a copy of Rules for Snakes and Ladders. Remind participants that they have 30 minutes to construct their game.

2. Keep time (30 minutes).

Processing (25 minutes)

1. Re-assemble everyone as a large group. Take 25 minutes to process the activity.

2. Suggest that everyone walk around to look at the different games that were made and read the messages carefully.

3. Ask each group to comment on the process of discussion they went through to decide on the messages by asking them questions such as the following:

· What was the specific audience you had in mind for your game?
· Was it hard to think of messages?
· Why or why not?
· Was there any disagreement about the content or the wording of the messages?

(Ask for specific examples and have participants tell how the disagreement was resolved.)

· Did everyone participate actively in the discussion? Why or why not?

How did HCNs participate in the discussion? As advisors? As proposers of messages? In other ways?

· Imagine having this discussion with local people who may be less educated than the people in this workshop. How might the discussion be different?

· How might you change the format of the discussion to involve local people? Examples: Get to know people first, work with them on these issues in other ways, get to know local customs and beliefs, reflect carefully on what messages might be an imposition of your own ideas and which are held by at least some of the local people, etc.

4. Ask each group to comment on the process of constructing the game. You might ask,

Did you have any technical problems rnaking the game? If so, how were they resolved?

Etc.

Activity 3: Other Games Used in Development

Activity Time 15 minutes

Purpose To introduce participants to several other games used in NFE.

Step - by - Step

1. To give participants an idea of how other games are used in development work, explain that the following two games have been designed by development workers and used around the world.

NOTE: If you would like to give participants hands-on practice using these games, see OPTION for this activity

These examples have been chosen to show some of the different purposes games can have. These purposes are:

To help people learn new skills such as literacy and numerary To encourage discussion and analysis of local problems

Learning New Skills - Letter Dice

"Letter Dice" are simple wooden cubes (larger than ordinary dice-about 1 1/2 inches on each side) that have a letter of the alphabet written on each face with a marker. Players take turns tossing the eleven dice and trying to make as many words as possible with the letters that land face up.

Although in the U.S. such games are used competitively (e.g., players compete with each other individually or in teams to make the most words), in rural Ecuador where they were introduced, local people tended to help each other, calling out words as they saw them, helping with the spelling, etc.

Ask participants if they can think of both positive and negative consequences of using a cooperative strategy in a learning game. (Examples: Positive - People won't feel stupid if they are less skilled than others. Negative - People might not learn as much if others jump in with the answer before they have a chance to think about it.)

Letter dice have been used in Ecuador in various contexts:

· In an urban reform school (to decrease discipline problems in classrooms - boys were so interested they learned eagerly)

· In primary school literacy classes

· In adult literacy classes

· In second language classes

Ask participants if they can think of specific situations in the local culture where they could use the letter dice idea. (Examples: Playing with local children, tutoring individual adults in literacy or second language.)

Note

In Ecuador, letter dice were made by local carpenters for about 30 cents (U.S.) per set. If wood is scarce in your area, ask participants if they can think of other local materials (including urban scrap) that could be used instead.

Reference: Letter Dice, Center for International Education

Tech Note #6.

Discussion and Analysis of Local Problems - Jigsaw Puzzle

Simple, home-made jigsaw puzzles have been used to stimulate discussion among groups of local people about how problems in the community are linked together. For example, a 15-piece puzzle described in "Helping Health Workers Learn" shows in both words and pictures the inter-related causes of diarrhea in one area: both environmental causes (loose pigs, flies, lack of latrines, dirty hands), and social causes (poverty, malnutrition, poor land distribution and lack of education). When people work in groups to put the puzzle together, exciting discussions have emerged about how one cause relates to another, and what people might do to intervene.

Ask participants if they would add or change any of the above causes of diarrhea for their local area. Examples: uncovered sweets in the market, lack of a clean water source, an emphasis on theoretical rather than practical science education, favoritism by government officials in developing the areas around their own natal villages, etc.

Reference: Helping Health Workers Learn, p. 11-25

OPTION

Instead of a presentation and discussion of these games, you might take an extra hour to give participants a chance to see the games, play them and discuss possible adaptations to the local context. One way of doing this is to have participants in one of your training programs make the games and have future groups use these games for discussion and analysis. Or, solicit other field-tested games from workshop participants and Volunteers currently in country.

Activity 3: Creating Guidelines for Adapting Games

Activity Time 25 minutes

Purpose To create guidelines for adapting games to the local context

Step - by - Step

1. Tell participants that most games created by U.S. development workers (including PCVs) are adapted from ones we are familiar with in our own culture.

2. Take 10 minutes to ask the group what problems they think might result from importing game ideas from our own culture. To get everyone thinking about this, use BUZZ GROUPS (everyone works with their neighbor for five minutes to think of possible problems). Ask each pair to report quickly about the problems they thought of. List on flip chart paper.

Examples:

· Importing game ideas might require special materials not available or expensive to produce (game boards, game pieces)

· Might introduce ideas with an unknown effect on people (competition in a group-oriented society)

· Might offend local customs or religion (games of chance)

3. Take 10 minutes to ask the group how they might introduce games in a way that avoids some of these problems. Use BUZZ groups. List on flip chart paper labeled "GUIDELINES FOR ADAPTING GAMES”.

Examples:

· Find out what local games are played in this context and adapt them

· Use cheap, local materials

· Involve local people in producing the game and making the rules

NOTE:

Perhaps Volunteers should not be too concerned with importing foreign ideas, since games have been crossing cultural boundaries since ancient times. Dice have been found in prehistoric graves in Egypt, the Orient, North and South America. The origin of all games seems to have been the African divining arrow (that was thrown to foretell someone's future), a remnant of which is found today in the children's game of Pick-up Sticks.

4. Ask if anyone knows any local games that can be adapted for NFE. Ask someone to explain the rules and have the group brainstorm how that game might be adapted to NFE.

5. Ask participants to think of other games from the U.S. context that might be adapted to NFE.

NOTE: You might consider having a contest to design games for NFE in your local cultural context. The Center for International Education

(University of Massachusetts/Amherst) experienced a remarkably sudden increase in creative NFE game ideas (found in References) by offering its graduate students (in the 1970s) $25 for a germ idea, $50 for a semi-finished product and $75 for a usable technique. Perhaps you can think of other motivators for

Volunteers and HCNs in your training programs to come up with games that really work in your local context.

Activity 4: Evaluation of Session

Activity Time 10 minutes

Purpose To evaluate the session.

Step - by - Step

Let participants who signed up to do the evaluation carry it out.

Time Saver #1 1

1. Adapting A Game to the Local Context:


Snakes and I Ladders

100 minutes.

BREAK

15 minutes

2. Guidelines for Adapting Games

25 minutes

3. Evaluation of Session

10 minutes.

Time Required

150 minutes.

Time Saver #2

La participants play and discuss games already adapted to your local cultural context by NGOs, other Volunteers in the field, or previous Peace Corps training groups.

Time: Variable

Time Saver #3

Adapting a Game to the Local Context:
Snakes and Ladders 100 minutes
(Do this as an evening activity)

RELATED REFERENCES: (See Appendix m)

CIE Technical Note Series Concienizzacoo and Simulation Games, Technical Note #2. Hacienda, Technical Note #3. Market Rummy (Rumy de Mercado), Technical Note #4. Letter Dice, Technical Note #6 Number Bingo, Technical Note #7. Game of Childhood Diseases, Technical Note #23. Road To Birth Game, Technical Note #24.

Hoxeng, J. Let Jorge Do It: An Approach to Rural Nonformal Education
Srinivasen, L Tools for Community Action and Participation, pp. 127-129
(SAAR - Sanitation Health Game)
Werner, D. Helping Health Workers Learn - Chapter 11 (pp. 11-26 - 11
28, Snakes and Ladders; 11-20 - 11-25, Flash Card Games and Puzzles)

Snakes and Ladders Grids


Figure


Figure


Figure


Figure

Rules for Snakes and Ladders

Players find a stone or other marker to be their piece. All pieces start at square one. Pieces advance along a grid of numbered squares by the throw of dice. If they land at the base of a ladder drawn on the board, they go directly to the square at the top of the ladder. If they land at the head of a snake, the snake swallows them and they make a quick descent to its tail, which rests on a lower square. Positive advice is written at the bottoms and tops of the ladders, while warnings are written at the heads and tails of the snakes.

For example:

In an adaptation of the game to the Liberian cultural context, a message at the head of the snake says: "Drinking from creeks and rivers." and at the tail it says: " gives you a running stomach" (the local term for diarrhea). Each snake has a different warning that starts at its head and ends at its tail.

The ladders also have messages at their bottoms and tops. For example, in the Liberian game, a message at the bottom of a ladder says "A breast-fed baby." and the message at the top says, " stays fat and strong. Each ladder has similar positive advice.

In order to make the game more attractive - as well as accessible to illiterate groups -pictures are drawn on the game board along with the messages.