Siklot: Reinvention of a Traditional Game for EFL Classrooms (by Marco Brazil)
“Flick a card.
Flick a card.
Start the game,
And let’s have fun!”
Siklot: Cultural background
Siklot is one of the most popular traditional games in the Philippines. The game is usually played by children from seven to sixteen years old. It can be played with two, three, four or more players, indoor or outdoor. I remember having great times playing the game at home with my siblings when I was young. In those days having a big family was the norm in the Philippines (I have four brothers and a sister), and in those days we didn’t have the technologies that children of today have, so when the weather (the Philippines has only two types of weather; super hot or lots of rain) was non-cooperative for an outdoor adventures, we usually gathered around in one part of the living room and played Siklot.
What is Siklot? Siklot means flick in the Philippines. It is a game similar to jacks or jackstones. The objective of the game is to successfully flick “stones” that are dropped on the floor. Each player starts with six or more “stones” (but there are variations, children who live along coastal parts of the country prefer sea shells or pebbles, children in rural areas prefer seeds, while children in the cities prefer marbles).
How it is played? After deciding who will begin, the first player collects all the stones from other players. He tosses the stones in the air and catches them with the back of his hand, tosses them again, catching them in the palm of his hand. When stones are on the floor, the player flicks a cue stone (with thumb over the index middle finger) to touch the stones on the ground. Player takes turn flicking pairs of stones until all the stones are gone. The winner of each round is the player who has flicked the most stones. This player sets one stone aside (called a baboy or “pig” to represent traditional Filipino savings) and the game begins again. The player who ends up with the largest number or baboy stones is the ultimate winner.
Siklot: Reinvented for EFL Class
In my experience, Siklot works wonderfully for reinforcing vocabulary and practicing simple questions and answers (what, who, can, how many). Kids may sometimes get too excited and therefore could be a bit noisy, but that’s part of the fun!
Players: 2 or more
Materials: picture cards (playing card size) and a table or flat surface
How to play:
- Determine the order of play (Rock- Scissors- Paper!).
- Shuffle the picture cards and deal one to each player (This card will be use to flick cards from the pile, rather than the tradition Siklot stones.)
- Toss the remaining cards in the air. The cards should land on a flat surface, usually in a pile, but sometimes in two or three broken piles.
- Players say the chant: Flick a card. Flick a card. Start the game, and let’s have fun!
- The objective of the game is to flip over a card, away from the pile. Players take turn flicking a card from the pile, in order to turn it face up. If the player is successful, he performs a task (naming the vocabulary or asking another student a question). If he completes the task successfully, he gets to keep the card, and takes another turn. If he fails to flip over a card, the next player takes his turn.
- Players keep playing until all the cards are gone. The player who has the most cards at the end of the game, wins the game.
Note: This article by Marco A. Brazil originally appeared on Teaching Village, and is licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution-Non Commercial, No Derivatives 3.0 License. If you wish to share it you must re-publish it “as is”, and retain any credits, acknowledgements, and hyperlinks within it.
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