In the Philippines the game is played this way; children sit down in a circle facing each other. The child who is “It” walks around the circle with a hanky in his hand, and at random drops the handkerchief behind one of the other players sitting in the circle. The player picks up the handkerchief and chases “It” around the circle to try to give the handkerchief back before the child who is “It” can occupy the vacant spot left by the player in the circle.
This is my reinvention of the game for EFL classrooms, called Cat and Mouse. Instead of a handkerchief children are to identify the picture cards (vocabulary), and be the first to occupy a vacant spot in the circle.
CAT AND MOUSE
(Reinvention for EFL Classrooms)
Players: eight or more
Materials: picture cards
Q: What is it?
A: It’s (a book).
Q: What do you have?
A: I have (a video game).
Q: Who’s (he)?
A: He is (Mr. Brown).
Q: What does (he) do?
A: He is (a baker).
Q: Where are you going?
A: I’m going to the (park).
How to play
Players sit in a circle facing each other. One player is the Mouse, and he walks around the circle with a picture card (vocabulary) in his hand. The sitting players (the Cats) clap their hands and say the chant:
“Cat and mouse
Cat and mouse
Run and catch me
And find your house!”
As the Mouse walks around, he tags one of the players and both run in opposite directions around the circle. When the Mouse and the Cat meet half-way, they practice a question and answer, followed by Rock Scissors Paper. The winner gets the card and both continue running in opposite directions trying to take the vacant seat in the circle. The rule is: if the runner who has the card is successful in taking the seat, he places the picture card at the center of the circle and the game continues with a new picture card (vocabulary). But if the runner who has the picture card remains standing, he must continue the game (as the Mouse) with the same card, until he is successful in securing a seat.
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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