More From Global Games for Diversity Education

This week we are sharing another sample lesson from Rich Keegan’s Global Games for Diversity Education:

If your group is currently studying a particular region or country, choose games and activities that will help your group experience this culture in an active way. Choose a game from a country in which someone in your group was born or lived for a period of time. This may help your group get to know that person better. I hope these activities will encourage you to search for more games from around the globe.

Morra (Italy)

Diversity Life Skills: #3 Treat everyone fairly; #8 Come to a compromise; #10 Make an experience enjoyable.

Time: 10 minutes

History
This game has been played since ancient Roman times. It spread throughout the Roman Empire which included most of Europe, Asia and Africa. It was thought to have been learned from the Turks and, in ancient times, was used to settle disputes and reach compromise among merchants. As a way to crackdown on gambling, Morra was illegal in Italy for 20 years. Morra is popular in Italy and also played in Greece, Spain, France, and Portugal.

Music
1) Carnival In Venice, Artist/Group: Italian Dinner Music; 2) Apocalisse, Artist/Group: Hip Hop Italian Style; 3) II Mio Diavolo, Artist/Group: Hip Hop Italian Style

Get It Goin’
• Have the group sit or stand in a circle—groups of 5 to 10 work best.
• Have the group choose one person to be the leader that begins the game.
• All players’ hands should be closed into fists in front of them.
• The leader counts to three, then calls out a number while simultaneously showing the same number of extended fingers to the group.
• Everyone else in the group has to quickly extend their fingers at the same time as the leader.
• The goal of the game is to not extend the same number of fingers as the leader. Players who extend the same number of fingers as the leader are out of the game.
• The player to the right of the first leader becomes the new leader for the next round. Rotation of the leader continues to the right until there are only two players left.
• The last player to win can make the decision or compromise for the group, or they can just win that round.

What to Say
This game has been played for thousands of years as a way to reach a compromise or end disputes having to do with merchandise. Merchandise are goods that are bought and sold, such as food, clothing and other supplies. This game is thought to have originated when the Roman Empire extended throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. It is now most popular in Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal.
Please divide into groups of 5 to 10 and form a circle facing each other. Choose one leader to begin the game. When you hear the music begin, the leader will say “1, 2, 3,” and call out a number while extending the same number of fingers to the group. Everyone has to immediately extend their fingers at the count of three, at the same time the leader does.
The object of the game is to show a different number of fingers than the leader. If you extend the same number of fingers as the leader, you are out.
The player to the right of the last leader becomes the leader for the next round of play. Play continues until there is only one person left.

Variations
• If you don’t want participants to be out of the game, have each person who should be out be the leader for the next round.
• Instead of individuals being out, have them keep score of the number of times they don’t match the leader.
• If you have multiple groups of between 5 to 10 players, a player who is out can go to another group. Every time you are out you rotate to another group.

Diversity Life Skills Questions/Activities
1. What do you think of this ancient method of coming to a compromise or solving a dispute where the winner makes the decision?
2. Since this is a game from the Roman Empire, let’s vote on this method as the Romans may have done in the Coliseum. If you liked this method, when I say “3,” give me a thumbs up. If you didn’t like this method, give me a thumbs down. If you can’t make a decision as to whether or not you liked it, point your thumb to the side.
3. Who is prepared to defend your vote, and tell us why you voted the way you did?
4. Are there better ways to reach a compromise?

Italian Proverb: “A common trouble is half joy.”

Sources:
Morra: a game strategy at http://www.frontier.net. Morra: A simple game of Strategy at http://www.icamerano.net/morra. Multicultural Game Stations by Mike Spiller.

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