Learning to Play, Playing to learn

Allen Affleck

For the past six years I have been teaching at Jack Miner Public School, a small rural school located about 40 kilometres from Windsor. Our student body  is  quite  culturally  homogenous,  and  as teachers we are always looking for ways to introduce them to multiculturalism. I  saw the Right To Play program as an outstanding opportunity for the students in my class to learn about various cultures and celebrate our differences.

Right To Play has created a new curriculum called   Learning to Play, Playing to Learn, which combines  playing,  learning,  and  laughing  to make Canadian children active, build character, and create engaged global citizens. The resource is available on the website  righttoplay.com.

The Playbook and CD provide approximately 50 games that have been tested by professionals. They are practical, can be adjusted to fit any age or skill level, and have a crosscurricular focus.

This week my Junior physical education classes learned  that  while  immunization  is  a  normal part of life in Canada, some developing countries report measles as a leading cause of preventable death among children. After a lively discussion on  viruses, my  students played a  game called Immunization Tag in which the viruses (ITs) try to tag children; however, if a child is holding one of the green balls  (Vaccines) they are immune from being tagged.

More than just physical education and daily physical activity

The resource is not limited to physical education and daily physical activity (DPA). There are 16 lesson plans equipped with reproducible activity sheets that will help you fulfill curriculum expectations in social studies,  science, and language arts. Earlier this year, student teachers from the University of Windsor Faculty of Education used the  Playbook  to  teach  about  multiculturalism and talked about their own Pakistani and Indian heritages and backgrounds. They discussed some of the games that are played in their home countries and their  similarity to the ones played by the children at Jack Miner Public School. The children were extremely motivated to learn more about other cultures and to play the games that are played around the globe.


Elementary students learning music with acoustic guitars

Research shows that students’ critical thinking and creativity increase through exposure to music.

Graphic of tablet with 1st place medal

Does the word gamification make you cringe? That’s okay. I get it. It sounds like an annoying made-up word.