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Fruit Ninjas – Directions with Weapons!
The directions lesson has always been one of my favorites and is an excellent time to get your kids up out of their seats and moving around. To that end i have taken some inspiration from a Japanese game: "the watermelon game"—which most people should already be aware of—and taken it to its logical maximum fun level, a real life version of the iPhone app "Fruit Ninjas". This game will require a trip to the 100 yen store for sure, but it is definitely worth it.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- A blindfold (Something ninja–related or a really funny mask with the eye holes covered have been favorites.)
- Pico pico hammers, ninja swords, or bats. (Anything the students can use to strike a balloon lightly will work but buy extras as overzealous students will break them.)
- A shoe box
- A flat tack or short nail
- Lots and lots of balloons iIf you have time decorate them to look like fruit to play into the fruit ninja theme.)
You will find instructions below on how to build your lesson materials as well as all resources for this game.
Since this is at heart a directions lesson i use it as a conclusion to this chapter so that students are familiar with the key commands, go straight, turn left/right, go back, etc., sometimes if they are really quick on the uptake i add jump, crouch, crawl, etc.
Start the lesson with a quick review of the commands. I have included themed cards with the commands that you can laminate and place on the board as a visual aid and reminder. If the students have never seen the iPhone game "Fruit Ninja" I sometimes pull it up on my phone or on the projector so they understand the concept of ninjas destroying fruits with swords. Not necessary but they enjoy it.
Next select a pair of students. Blindfold one and give him a weapon. He will be the Fruit Ninja. The second student will be the commander.
While the ninja student is blindfolded have the rest of the students create a maze using their desk. Place the fruit crate, basically a shoebox with a balloon in it (directions on how to make this found below), at the end of the maze.
Once the maze is set, grab the ninja student and spin them around or move them so they are disoriented. Then the commander will shout out directions to the ninja guiding them through the maze. Once they are in front of the fruit crate have the commander issue the ATTACK command. The ninja student will strike the box and pop the balloon, completing his or her mission.
Switch students and repeat.
As I mentioned before, to add difficulty you can add commands like crawl, crouch, jump etc.
Most of all, be genki and enjoy, and your kids will follow suit.
Beware of students trying to hit each other with the weapons. Invariably a commander will issue the attack command when the ninja is in front of a student. This is fun once or twice and nobody has been injured or anything but just keep an eye on it so nothing happens on your watch.