Global Games for Diversity Education: An Excerpt from our Latest Book

We are pleased to announce the release of our newest publication. Global Games for Diversity Education: A New Way of Learning in the 21st Century by Rich Keegan. Global Games contains 18 sequential lessons that use over 40 different games and activities, many from different parts of the globe. Each lesson is approximately 45 minutes in length. These games and activities were chosen to create an experience that will help participants, middle school age and older, practice the 10 Diversity Life Skills. Most if not all of the global games were modified from their traditional form to enhance the learning of the diversity life skills and to create a safe environment in which to play, learn and have fun. The book is divided into three units that are designed to assist participants in answering essential questions associated with several diversity themes such as building allies, coming to consensus, and finding commonalties. These themes are part of the foundation for learning the 10 Diversity Life Skills.
Here is one favorite activity from the book:

Chasing the Serpent (Belgium)

Diversity Life Skills #3 Treat everyone fairly; #9 Focus on what you have in common; #10 Make an experience enjoyable.

Time 15 minutes

History Tag games have many variations, and most were played to learn how to hunt, to prepare for warfare, and for fitness. This game is thought to have been played to teach children to avoid or hunt for snakes. “La poursuite du serpent” is French for “chasing the serpent.” Games of this nature have been played in Africa and by various first nation peoples of North America.

Music 1) Gauche Droite, Artist/Group: AKRO; 2) Glad I Found You, Artist/Group: DJ Gomi;
3) Zembito, Artist/Group: Balo

• Six-foot pieces of rope or twine for a third of your group.
• Enough poly spots to form a circle boundary area.

Get It Goin’
• To form a boundary, have participants stand in a finger tip circle. Place and stand on the spots.
• Depending on the size of the group, have two or three members of the group volunteer to be the snakes.
• The snakes will tuck one end of the rope into their waistband (or clip it to their clothing) and stretch the rest of the rope behind them on the floor/ground.
• When play begins, snakes run around the area near the boundary and the rest of the group tries to remove their ropes by stepping on them. Using hands to grab a rope is not allowed.
• The player who removed the snake’s rope by stepping on it can choose to become the snake or designate someone else to be the snake.

What to Say

One of the diversity life skills we are working on is to focus on what you have in common with others. There are many games that we have in common with different cultures around the world. Tag games are some of these common games. As you play this game, think about the tag games you have played that are similar to this one from Belgium.
Please take a poly spot and make a circle by extending your arms parallel to the ground, and once your finger tips are touching the finger tips of the person to your left and right, place your spot on the ground and stand on it. You have just formed the boundaries for this game from Belgium called “Chasing the Serpent.”
We will need two or three volunteers to be the serpents. The serpents will tuck a rope into the back of their waistband, letting the rest of the rope fall to the floor behind them.
When the music begins, the serpents will move around the circle, trying to avoid the people standing on the poly spots who are attempting to step on the serpents’ ropes. People on the poly spots may take one step into the middle of the circle in order to step on a rope. If someone removes a rope by stepping on it, he or she can choose to replace the serpent in the middle or choose someone else to be the serpent.

Variations for a Debriefing Activity:

All players have a rope tucked into their waist bands, and play begins when everyone scatters. Participants try to step on others’ ropes while not having their own rope removed. If their rope is removed by someone stepping on it, they are out and may stand on a boundary poly spot, trying to get other snakes out by stepping on their ropes. An option to this version could be that the player who gets someone out while standing on the boundaries may reenter the game.
What to Say: Tag games are so familiar and are shared common experiences throughout the world. In this variation, let’s use our imagination for a moment and say that none of us share a common language, so I’ll explain the variation non-verbally. I’ll bet you will be able to figure things out without any of us talking. When you hear the music, begin play.

Diversity Life Skills Questions/Activities
• What are some tag games similar to this one that you have played?
• Using this last game as an example, what do you have in common with other people from around the world when you play any game like this?
• What made this game fun for you?
• What about this game was not fun for you?
• Variation Game: Using one of your thumbs, rate how easy it was for you to figure out how to play this variation. Thumb up means it was easy for you, thumb to the side means it took a little bit of effort, thumb down means it took you way too long to get it.

Belgian Proverb “Tolerance when mocked is often transferred into anger.”

Sources Best of the Best, 270 Great Global Games for PE Teachers by Mike Spiller.

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