Game/Activity for Kids that Supplement Black History Facts – Part 1

traffic light

When I am driving the car and my toddler is the passenger, he loves to use the traffic light signal to tell me when to go and stop. “Go mommy! Green light!” he says. Since February is Black History month, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to teach my son the contributions of black people.

I began by telling my son about Garrett Morgan and why he invented the three-position traffic light signal.

One day, Mr. Morgan was driving and saw a car accident. The accident happened because the traffic light signal switched back and forth between Stop and Go with no warning of slowing down. Mr. Morgan designed the warning signal, which today is the yellow light. The warning signal gives drivers a chance to slow down before stopping. This has decreased many car accidents.

I decided to supplement the lesson with a fun childhood game called Red Light Green Light.

In this game, one person is chosen to be the traffic cop. The other children stand in a line while the traffic cop has his/her back to them. When the cop says “Green Light” the children try to run to the finish line. When the cop calls “Red Light” he/she turns to face the children and the players have to stop.

I explain to my son that this is how people drove their cars before Mr. Morgan’s invention.

We THEN play Red Light, Green Light, Yellow Light. This game includes Mr. Morgan’s warning signal (yellow light). My son realizes it is much easier to stop if there’s a warning signal.

We also play both games with his toy cars. Instead of running, we race the cars around the house.

Have fun learning!

 

 

Interactive Activity that requires Family Brain Power and Critical Thinking!

family spending time

 

The application of critical thinking skills at home is different than in the classroom. Children will be analyzing issues with people who they are related to and live with, their family. In this environment, children may have more time to evaluate with their family.

Also, the family members’ reactions will be different than peers in the classroom. Family may be more critical or supportive of what a child is thinking. The child’s parents and older siblings, may be apt to tell their child all the answers instead of letting them figure it out. To prevent this, we will use a different version of the critical thinking question in the previous post: Time has just been taken away from the world for a day. How will your family function?

Most people use time as an indicator to achieve something such as: eating, working, playing, and sleeping.

Many parents and older siblings will be in unfamiliar territory if you take time away. Doing an activity around this question will most likely have the whole family stumped. Below is how you put the whole family’s critical thinking skills to practice with this question.

  1. Plan to have a day or half a day where you operate with no time.
  2. The best time to do this is on the weekend or a day when no one needs to work or go to school.
  3. Put everyone’s cell phone and watches into a safe place the night before.
  4. Cover all clocks in the home the night before.
  5. Put away computers and anything that keeps time.
  6. Remind your family of the question/problem: Time has just been taken away from the world for a day. How will your family function?
  7. The day before, the family should come together and predict how they will function (critical thinking).
  8. Record each family member’s response.
  9. The next day, as soon as you wake up, start to function without time.
  10. After the activity, debrief how your day went… (critical thinking)
    • How did you know when to eat?
    • Did you communicate more without your cell phones?
    • Who was the most comfortable with this activity?
    • Who was the most uncomfortable with this activity?
    • What family member predicted what would happen?
    • Would you do this again?
  11. PLEASE NOTE: Adjust this activity if there is a situation where you need time. For example, if someone needs to take their medicine every 4 hours. This is not worth the risk.

 

Exercise Your Students’ Brains with this Critical Thinking, Interactive Activity

Clock

 

Interactive activities are a powerful way to build critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is evaluating something and making a conclusion from what you observed. Experiential learning is the perfect method for building this skill because your brain is drawing conclusions as you participate and think about the activity.

One way to incorporate this in class is by asking an open-ended question. The question/problem could be:  Time has just been taken away from the world. How would humans function without time? If students are analyzing this question in groups, then they will combine each other’s thoughts and form a conclusion.

This question will allow them to think about their daily routines within their families and environment and answer accordingly. This also encourages students to think about the importance of time. Now let’s make this an interactive activity.

  1. Break students up in to groups of 3 or 4.
  2. Cover all the clocks in the classroom.
  3. Put everyone’s cell phone and watches into a box or a safe place.
  4. Put away anything that keeps time like computers.
  5. Tell students they will answer the question/problem: Time has just been taken away from the world. How would humans function without time?
  6. Have students create a commercial that gives the world tips on how they can function without time.
  7. Have each group perform the commercial for the class.