Duck Duck Goose (or Duck Duck Gray Duck for our strange brethren from the frozen tundra of Minnesota, though to be fair the game (like our flaxen-haired friends from the heartland) originated in Sweden where it was called Anka Anka Grå Anka, or Duck Duck Gray Duck, so maybe they aren’t completely misinformed) is the same game you remember from your elementary gym class. If your P.E. teacher was anything like mine — a mustachioed, whistle-sucking dictator — you may still suffer from PTSD along with the occasional flashback triggered by quacking waterfowl, so consider yourself forewarned!
Ages and Levels
Duck Duck Goose works best with Kindergarten to pre-teen children of elementary ability.
Duck Duck Goose should target particular vocabulary or grammatical structures for pronunciation. Because students in the game will move and speak quickly, it’s important to keep an eye on their pronunciation which tends to get sloppy sooner than later.
For this example, let’s say the students are studying ‘I’m going to the (blank)’, and the vocabulary are places around town such as the hospital, bank etc.
You’ll need a decent-sized classroom for this game. Students must be able to run around without having to dodge desks, tables or other students.
Clear the desks and have students sit in a circle on the floor. The larger they can make the circle, the more competitive the game will be. Make sure the area outside the circle has enough room for students to run unimpeded.
Nominate one of the students to be ‘it’. Whoever is ‘it’ will walk around the outside of the circle, tapping children on the head, each time saying ‘I’m going to the bank.’ When the ‘it’ student finally changes the vocabulary word (e.g. ‘I’m going to the hospital’) and taps that student on the head, that student stands and tries to catch ‘it’ while ‘it’ tries to run all the way around the circle and sit down in the original spot. If ‘it’ gets caught, he or she must try again.
Note: Duck Duck Goose may cause some cultural issues about touching children on the head, particularly in Thailand. If this is the case, have students tap each on the shoulder.