Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's All Fun and Games

I have had a great Fulbright grant experience. Much of that is due to my school--SMK N1 Magelang. I wanted to thank my school for hosting me and for taking care of me during my time here. I had brought gifts for teachers and students, but I wanted to give something to the school as a whole. My cousin Michelle, who taught in Honduras, had the great idea to give my school an assortment of games. So when my parents came to visit in April they brought a suitcase full of assorted games. We're talking: Scrabble, Connect-Four, Battleship, UNO, Scrabble Slam, MasterMind, Jenga, etc! Lots of fun.
I had to make the games at least semi-educational to use them in class. So I gave the kids the boxes with the instructions in English. I made them try to work out the instructions first and then helped them if they needed it. Once they figured out how to play, I had them write their own instructions for the games in Bahasa Indonesia. The point was to leave the games with instructions in Indonesian so that everyone at the school will be able to play. We had a lot of fun playing the games in small groups. I'm not sure that many of them had ever played board games before. Now every class they ask if we can play again.
Battleship was by far the most coveted game to play. Bloody-minded teenage boys. The directions weren't easy though and even I had to read them twice before I could sufficiently explain the game.
Andrianus puzzles out the directions for Connect-Four. This was another popular choice. I hypothesize that the bigger the box, the more they want to play that game.
Scrabble Slam is a card version of Scrabble. It is surprisingly a lot of fun and one of the more educational of the games since it forces them to practice spelling and word recall. One of the boys was very amused to tell me that his girlfriend's name is Jenga. Jenga was very popular because it made the most noise.

At first I worried that Scrabble would be too difficult because it is a complicated and sophisticated vocabulary game. After a bit of explaining and demonstrating on my part, all of the students were able to play. Not only able to play, but excited to play. They even came up with some words that surprised me!

UNO is so classic. Everyone loves UNO, how could you not? It is easy and fun. If I was going to pick a game to play, it would be UNO for sure!


  1. Great candid photos. You really captured the moment in each one.