Wait a second? What does a Connect Four tournament have to do with Social Studies?
What does a Connect Four tournament have to do with having fun with your students and get them to move around the room and talk to students they may not normally communicate with?
I’ve held a Connect Four tournament in my classroom every year for the past several years the day before we leave for Winter Break. At the middle school I work at, as I’m sure is the case at most middle schools, that day before break is when you can feel the pot of madness about to boil over. There are usually more students gone on this day than normal due to families travelling for the holidays, and those that remain are thinking about the same thing I’m thinking about – VACATION!!
Therefore, the Connect Four tournament emerged as an idea for a fun class activity, and it hasn’t failed me yet. Students come in the room that day and see a huge stack of Connect Four games cut out and the projector screen showing the opening round of competition. It doesn’t take long for me to hear something like, “Oh, yes! SWEET!!”
I let students know that as soon as they are seated and silent, I will explain the rules for the day. This is often the day when they are seated and silent the fastest. I tell students that to move through the tournament they will have to win at least 2 out of 3 games against their opponent. Whoever wins will let me know and I will advance them to the next round. Whoever loses can choose to play someone else in class who lost their round, or they can observe other competitions. The rules are as follows:
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Matt @ Surviving Social Studies