Friday, March 2, 2012

Brain Dicing

WAIT! This is not what it sounds like. I promise!

Brain Dicing is a game I've invented with my writing students to help get creative juices flowing. We sit around a table and select a category. Then we roll dice and list items in the category, trying to get enough to match the number shown on the dice. It gets harder with each person because no repeats are allowed. We've played with 6-sided dice for quick games and 20-sided dice for longer games. Today, however, my students convinced me to use two 10-sided dice for listing anywhere from 1 to 100 items. I knew it would be challenging. I knew it would take up the bulk of the hour. I also knew that it was Friday and that my students had put forth extra effort all week long.

The category we chose today was famous figures. The person to roll first got an 18. She rattled off some singers and athletes and then handed the dice to her neighbor. This next student really, REALLY impressed me. She rolled an 84 and then had nearly half of it done in about ten seconds! Want to know how she did it?

Apparently there's a song, of which I was previously unaware, that helps students remember the names of each American president. She sang through it, flashing a Cheshire grin the whole time. It was quite the spectacle. I gave her credit for each one, but she then struggled to get the back half of her list complete. She eventually made it. On their turns, the other students grumbled at her for "stealing" all the presidents, but fun was had by all. And our brains were thoroughly diced.

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