I have several versions of rock, paper, scissors that are easy to add-in as needed to any lesson. They are also good for regular classroom teachers to use when their students need a break. They are fast, require no equipment and get the children moving around and interacting.
Whole body: Instead of using just your hands; rock, paper, or scissors is made with your whole body. Curl up for a rock. Body in an ‘x’ shape for scissors. Feet together and hands straight in the air for paper. Students jump 3 times then make their shape.
Olympic: Divide the room into 3 sections using cones or any visual markers. One section is bronze, one is silver, and one is gold. In the gold section make a “podium” using a mat, chair, or any raised surface. All students begin in bronze and find a partner to play. Winner moves into the silver section and loser stays in bronze. Continue to find new partners and play, moving up or down levels when you win or lose. If you win in the gold section you stay there and play again. If you win 3 times in a row you stand on the podium. I play with my classes that as a new person gains the podium they must challenge whoever was there first. The winner stays on the podium and the loser goes back to bronze. You can also play it that the podium can have multiple players. Play for any amount of time (usually about 5 minutes)
Train: Players form a train of 3-4 people standing in a line and placing hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. The front player challenges the “engine” from another train to RPS. The loser becomes the caboose of that train. The train then chugs the room and looks for another train to play. See who gets the longest train.
Chicken, Monkey, Superman: This one is my favorite. It is similar to Olympic (above). All students start out as chickens (crouch down and make chicken wings) and find a partner to play. Winners move up to monkeys (stand and make monkey arms). Winning monkeys become superman (arms out as if flying) and losing monkeys go back to being a chicken. Chickens must play chickens, etc. I place mats at both sides of the gym. If a person wins 3 times in a row as superman; he/she becomes the king and stands on either mat. Another winner can challenge them and take their place if they win. Losers go back to being a chicken. The children really get giggling with this one and it is fun to watch.
This is the first week of school for me. I have been spending lots of time going over the class rules with my students and these simple games have been a good way to break things up and make the class fun.