Multicultural Games
Unit Overview

Author: Nina Smith

Germantown Academy Physical Education Department

  Duration: Three Weeks

  Grade: Sixth

  • To create and foster an understanding of world cultures.
  • To encourage interdisciplinary learning .
  • To teach students an appreciation of the history of games by reenacting the steps taken by children thousands of years ago.
  • To help students understand the importance games played in cultures where strong community spirit and the need for group cooperation were a necessity for survival.


Each student will be required to work within an assigned group to research a multicultural game. Each group will have two opportunities during class time to visit the library. Every student will write an independent paper, and the group will present their game to the class.

The group will provide the necessary background, rules, and equipment so that the class may participate in the game. Students will have one-half of a class period to give an oral group presentation and play the game.

Guiding Questions:

Students will give brief answers to the following questions. This is not a research paper: students are asked to supply the information on a two page sheet.  

See template.

  • State the name of your game and why you chose it.
  • List the countries where it is played and its origin.
  • Describe how your game is played. State the object of the game. Clearly describe the rules.
  • List the equipment needed.
  • Make recommendations for what type of athlete would enjoy playing this game. What skills does it demand?
  • What are your feelings about this game? Did you enjoy playing it? Would you recommend it?

Factors to consider:

Safety for all players. If the game involves contact and expensive safety equipment, then it is important to adopt and explain a variation. For example: football becomes touch football. Involve as many players as possible. Set up your equipment ahead of time. Arrange to borrow equipment from the physical education department. Or modify your own. For example: mancala boards can be quite elaborate and expensive: you can make your own with an egg carton. Have fun!


Each group will have two opportunities during class time to collect reference materials, use electronic resources, and locate materials from the Internet. Contact the librarians several months in advance so that materials can be ordered to support the unit. Make sure to reserve time in the library several weeks in advance and request a research guide. Let students know the written report due date and make up a schedule for group presentations and post it. One game presentation per class period may be better than attempting to do two if you have the time and the space. The students enjoy learning from their peers and really engage in the process when given the time. Students may borrow or make their own equipment. Stress that there is no need to purchase expensive materials to complete this assignment. Creativity is valued over authenticity. It is probably advisable to assign games to specific groups or present a pre-selected choice of games. Sixth graders an spend an entire class period selecting their games.

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Multicultural Games6th Grade  |  GAnet

Germantown Academy
P.O. Box 278
Ft. Washington, PA 19034  |