My Dad’s side of the family has a Christmas Eve tradition where we take turns planning games for the others to play. This year, my sister and I took the reins, and I found the experience to be a lot like planning a lesson for a diverse group of students with a range of abilities and interests. The differing participants in this occasion were my aunt and uncle, mom and dad, two cousins in their 20s, and Nana and Papa.
The thing I found hardest was finding appropriate games for my grandparents’ abilities. One of the games my sister and I decided on was a relay in which teams of four took turns unwrapping Hershey kisses while wearing mittens. Papa’s team decided to have him sit out and just eat the unwrapped kisses, but my Nana decided to participate, and she has enough trouble with dexterity in her hands WITHOUT mittens on, so this choice of game was a flop (while the other family members really enjoyed it and thought it was a cool idea!).
Now that I look back on it, I want to treat it as a lesson that didn’t go the way I planned and make ideas for how it could have gone better:
-have Nana do the challenge WITHOUT mittens, to even the playing field
-get the grandparents to have a different task, such as counting the kisses that were unwrapped, handing their teammates kisses, eating the kisses, lining the unwrapped kisses up to get to a finish line, etc.
-have them relay the unwrapped kisses to the next player’s mouth
Another game we played was Family Feud (like the popular TV game show). My Nana found this game difficult and frustrating as well, because she couldn’t hear the question or answers so my sister (the “Host”), was always repeating everything. I could have made this easier on her by printing out the questions so she could read them and let her write down the previously given answers.
In short, the games were lots of fun for most of the family, but it isn’t good enough for me. I want ALL of my students (or, in this case, family members) to have equal opportunity for success!
I never thought I’d still be learn important lessons about Education during my Christmas break! But the sayings “You learn something new every day” and “You are never done learning” were definitely proven for me during the holiday season!