Global Games for Diversity Education: New Ways of Learning in the 21st Century

ISBN: 978-1-885473-34-9
SIZE: 8.5 x 11
PRICE $29.95

Play is a pure medium for bringing people of many experiences, cultures, backgrounds and characteristics together. These lessons using games from countries throughout the world introduce 10 Diversity Life Skills that promote empathy and understanding, and reinforce that we are all more similar than different. The methods used in this book employ experiential play and activities that are paired with focused reflection and the use of various processing tools. Providing structured reflection time with each activity allows for the processing of feelings and the creation of new ideas. Participants test new knowledge against old. Various processing techniques include questions, use of props, country proverbs and historical background information.


“The value of this book goes beyond timely and informative content—the philosophy contained within its approach is needed everywhere throughout our culture here and beyond our borders. By linking games to standards, and by suggesting relevant assessments, teachers and leaders can make connections to play-with-purpose. We need more play, and we need more real purpose. This book provides an ample supply of both.”
—JEAN MEE, Ed.D., internationally recognized authority on physically active learning, professor of pedagogy, counselor, and lifelong learner

“Keegan’s book reminds us of the international roots of many of our favorite games and introduces new games from around the world. Whether you are doing a cross-cultural unit or teaching diversity skills, games are a fun way to engage young people in topics critical for our citizens.”
—TARA FLIPPO, Director of Youth and Student Programs, The Browne Center, Durham, NH

“I am certain I would purchase this book for myself and I will recommend it to other professionals in the pursuit of guiding others to a better understanding of the people, near and far, we share our world with. The style in which the lessons are presented is extremely user friendly. The writer’s thoughtfulness and concern for each individual’s understanding is evident.”
—FELICIA A. FALKOWSKI, Prek-12 Physical Education, Manchester Public Schools

“Whether you are trying to introduce cultural understanding or you wish to dig deeper into the issues of diversity in your school climate, you will find Global Games for Diversity Education an excellent resource.”
—CHRIS ORTIZ, Training Coordinator, High 5 Adventure Learning Center, Brattleboro, VT

Excerpt from the Book

There is a growing concern that the United States is not preparing its students and adults to live, work, and continue to compete in a 21st century global economy. Educators are seeing the need to rethink how curriculums and school systems are reflecting the changes in new technologies in an ever-changing world. Global Games for Diversity Education is, by no means, intended to be a deep dive into the world of diversity with all its complexities and sensitivities. Instead, it is a fun, playful and engaging way to begin the introduction of 10 Diversity Life Skills. These Diversity Life Skills are used to teach participants some of the behaviors they will need to continue to develop as they live and work in today’s world.

This book 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. The games and activities are planned for groups with between 8 and 25 participants. Simply divide groups of 25 or more into smaller groups of 8 to 12 participants. The games or activities can be done with 1 to 3 groups.

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.

Unit 1 helps participant’s answer the question, “Why learn about diversity; what’s that all about?” This first unit can create an atmosphere that encourages a comfortable learning environment where physical and emotional safety become a group norm. These norms are needed for all the games and activities as well as for future conversations about diversity.

Unit 2 helps participants answer the question, “Am I different, or the same as everyone else?” This unit introduces participants to the diversity characteristics that make them unique. Age, race, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and religious beliefs are emphasized.

Unit 3 addresses the question, “How do I live and work with people not like me?” This unit completes participants’ exploration of the 10 Diversity Life Skills taught throughout the book.

Who Can Use This Book?
• Elementary Classroom and Physical Education Teachers, grades 4 through 6
• Elementary After School Programs
• Middle School Social Studies and Physical Education Teachers
• Middle School After School Programs
• High School Social Studies and Physical Education Teachers, grades 9 through 12
• High School After School Programs
• Various College Diversity Programs
• Camp Program Directors and Camp Counselors
• Diversity Trainers who are looking for alternative activities for their current adult and corporate programs.

The lessons, games and activities contained in this book have been used by all of these groups. The lessons have been aligned with National Education Teaching Standards. For classroom teachers these lessons have been aligned with McRel Educational and Research Development Corporation National Standards. McRel’s mission is to “Make a difference in the quality of education and learning for all through excellence in applied research, product development and service.” For Physical Education Teachers, the lessons have been aligned with the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) National Standards.

Table of Contents

National Education Standards

Unit 1: Why Learn About Diversity; What’s That All About?
Lesson 1: Ten Diversity Life Skills
1.0 Diversity Life Skills Introduction
1.1 Rock, Paper, Scissors (Singapore)
1.2 Social Order Line Up
Lesson 2: Learning Everyone’s Name
2.0 Ubuntu Connections (South Africa)
2.1 Who Are You?
2.2 Oonch Neech (Pakistan)
Lesson 3: Looks Aren’t Everything
3.0 Diversity in Nature Tag
3.1 Jian-zi (China)
3.2 Ally Have You Ever
Lesson 4: Taking Care of Business
4.0 Ga-Ga (Israeli Dodge Ball)
4.1 Corporate Black Jack
4.2 Diversity in the Media
Lesson 5: Ways of Life
5.0 World Religions “Way of Life”
5.1 Build a Banner
5.2 Da Ga (Ghana)
5.3 Doorkeeper (Afghanistan)

Unit 2: Am I Different or the Same as Everyone Else?
Lesson 1: Diversity Characteristic: Social Class/Groupings
1.0 Diversity Characteristics Introduction
1.1 Diversity Poker Face
Lesson 2: Diversity Characteristic: Physical Abilities
2.0 Down, Down, Down (New Zealand)
2.1 Wolf Chase (First Nation Peoples North American Plains)
2.2 Chinese Ball (China)
Lesson 3: Diversity Characteristic: Ethnicity and Culture
3.0 Ethnicity Mingle
3.1 Culture Lemonade
Lesson 4: Diversity Characteristic: Gender
4.0 Afghan Kite Fighting (Afghanistan)
Lesson 5: Diversity Characteristic: Religious Beliefs
5.0 Irish Hurling (Tennis Polo)
5.1 End of Unit 2 Assessment: “Am I Different or the Same as Everyone Else?”

Unit 3: How Do I Live and Work With People Not Like Me?
Lesson 1: Diversity Life Skill: Active Listening
1.0 Cultural Communolugue
1.1 Chinese Whispers, a.k.a. Telephone
1.2 Catch Your Tail (Nigeria)
Lesson 2: Diversity Life Skill: Positive Confrontation
2.0 Nervous Wreck (New Zealand)
2.1 Conflict Colliding Eggs (Russia)
2.2 Back to Back, Did Ya’ Have To Say That?
2.3 Hakaka Moa
Lesson 3: Diversity Life Skill: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
3.0 Chinese Fingers (China)
3.1 Drapeau/French Capture the Flag (Canada)
Lesson 4: Diversity Life Skill: Find Something in Common
4.0 Gulli Danda (India)
4.1 Buroinjin (Australia)
Lesson 5: Diversity Life Skill: Compromise and Acceptance
5.0 Morra (Italy)
5.1 Competitive Compromise
5.2 Kabaddi (Pakistan)
Lesson 6: Diversity Life Skill: Make an Experience Enjoyable
6.0 Chasing the Serpent (Belgium)
6.1 Culture Shock
6.2 Maori Ball (Tapu Ae, New Zealand)
Lesson 7: Diversity Life Skill: Cheer Others On
7.0 Down Under Ball (Australia)
7.1 Sota-Pani: Duck, Duck, Goose (India, Bangladesh)
7.2 Monkey Ball (United Kingdom)
7.3 Thumbs Up Joust (USA)
Lesson 8: One Person Can Make a Difference
8.0 The 16th Man Video
8.1 World Energy Ball

Appendix A: Video/Movie Resource List
Appendix B: Diversity Skills Daily Self-Evaluation
Appendix C: Diversity Life Skills Survey
Appendix D: Unit Games/Music List
Diversity Glossary
About the Author
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