Developmentally, students in third grade begin to get more and more competitive when it comes to organized games at recess. They're in that in-between zone of wanting to independently play a game but not quite having all the communication skills necessary to referee the rules and still require adult supervision. Students aged 6-9 years are still recognizing that others may have opinions that are different from their own and they are still navigating competition. As adults we can help them see things from different perspectives and closely monitor these games to intervene when necessary. After some incidents at recess occurred revolving around fairness and competitiveness, I thought it would be a good idea to do a lesson on sportsmanship.
We began by brainstorming what sportsmanship is:
I also went over this helpful chart that you can download here from Teaching Trove.
I reinforced that when we play games, it is not about who wins - it's about having fun. When we choose to play a game, we are choosing to accept one of three outcomes: we will win, we will lose, or we will tie. We will not always win. We will not always lose. We will not always tie. We show good sportsmanship when we stay positive no matter what the outcome of the game is.
Next, I introduced the game we would be playing today. Yay! A game!
The game is called "Transformation" Rock, Paper, Scissors. First we went over the rules. We established a consistent count before you show which hand gesture you chose. Then I explained the transformation part. Everyone starts out as an egg by squatting down low and waddling like an egg. "Eggs" find another egg and play of game of rock-paper-scissors. The winner turns into a chicken, the loser stays an egg and goes off to play another egg. Chickens move on to find other chickens, The losers of each round go down one level and the winners go up one level. Students are always transforming so there are many winners and losers. The levels are eggs, chickens, dinosaurs, & all-knowing being. Once you get to "all knowing being" and win, you keep your title and continue playing. I found this game here.
The students had a blast! After about 10 minutes of play we all sat down in a circle and debriefed on how well we utilized sportsmanship and how well those we played were. We talked about what else went well in the game and what we could work on next time. You can download the pictures here.