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Teacher: Luis Menacho who teaches at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School in New London, CT.

Name of Best Practice: Street/Urban Games

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To have students research and appreciate non-traditional games and activities that were played (and are still played) in our inner cities.

Suggested Grade Level: 6-12

Materials Needed: A sheet that shows the students exactly what you are expecting for the assignment (this is not required, however).

Street/Urban Games

Teaching in an urban school district can be challenging at times. In order to keep students motivated, I have them plan, research, and participate in "traditional games and activities" that were played in urban cities throughout the USA. Some examples of these types of games are stickball, jumping rope, handball, etc.

Students must first research games that are indigenous to a region in our country (sometimes I allow students to research games througout the world). Many students pick New York City because it has a rich history of "urban games". Students can use the Internet to find games. Sometimes students find their information by interviewing family members who grew up in an inner city.

At the end of this unit, students must have researched a game and demonstrated to the class how to play the game. In addition, I have had students give presentations on stickball, handball, off the wall, and stoop ball. Some students have even videotaped their grandparents demonstrating how to play a game they remember while growing up.


Have students pretend that they are a child growing up in New York City and have them brainstorm a list of games they would have enjoyed playing. See if they can invent their own game and teach it to the class.

Besides history, you may want to include the skill themes involved and the cues that must be used for success.

Also, you may want to have the students indicate if the games are developmentally appropriate. If they are not, they could provide suggestions on how to make the more appropriate.

Have students think of ways to adapt the game they researched for students with disabilities.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Ask faculty members who may have grown up in an inner city to share some of their favorite games from their childhood.

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Posted on PEC: 12/3/2002 and has received 85 votes.

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