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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Lessons & Classroom Games for Teachers

Draw the Tail (etc.) on the Donkey - ESL Teacher Robin Day Lesson
By:Robin Tim Day <cowboy4444@hotmail.com>

Most westerners know the traditional game called Pin the Tail on the Donkey. A blindfolded child is to pin a paper tail to a picture of a donkey. It challenges kids and is physical. I adapted this game for the esl classroom in Korea & Arabia. We didn't have a blindfold so I used my winter scarf and on another occasion used toilet paper wound around the eyes to blind the child. Use what you have.

I sketch a donkey on the board (helps if yo're good with art) and children take turns finding the correct spot for the tail, the eye, the back, the belly, the hoof, the ear, the mouth etc. so I do not limit the game to the tail. This builds more vocabulary about body parts.

1. Have the child in the center of the class standing, preferably in a clear isle.
2. Blind the child. Put a marker in the hand and spin the child around if you want to add confusion/excitement/challenge.
3. You may need to gently push the child in the right direction or even lead them to the board. Initial orientation is important.

4. The rest of the class calls out positions (some teachers call them prepositions) to help the child find the way. In this way the whole class participates. It can get quite noisy.Don't worry, they are learning. Teacher should write the positions and small directional commands on the board to help the kids, commands like..

Turn around.
Go straight.
That's it.
Go up, down, left or right.

This game will keep kids happy for a lesson and everybody wants a turn. Encourage the class to clap when a child is successful. Sometimes the child draws the tail etc. and sometimes the teacher does this to speed the game along. The first time I tried this game our school bell rang ending class before one small boy had his turn. He was so disappointed that he was literally spitting mad. Now that is motivation!

P.S. This game is also useful to break the ice with adult classes.
The Korean word for donkey is tang-na-gui.
Copyright 2005 Robin Tim Day

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