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Duck Duck Goose! (Cat Cat Dog...)

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I'm surprised I haven't seen this popular American (and other western countries I presume) game on this incredibly comprehensive list. Anyhow, this game is best with younger students and targets simple English vocabulary (in this case animals). Here's how it goes:

1. Have kids sit in a cirle in a spacious area, such as the gymnasium.

2. Start by slowly walking around the outside of the circle. As you pass each student, say "cat" and lightly touch the student on the shoulder (if touching is uncomfortable you could just point). Continue around the circle, clearly pronouncing, "cat, cat, cat" for each student.

3. Then, pick one student and loudly say, "DOG!". Immediately tart running away on the outside of the circle, smiling and gesturing for the student to stand up and chase you. They should understand right away. You try to make it all the way around the outside of the circle and sit down in the spot where the student was just sitting. If you sit down before the student can tag you, you are safe and it's now the student's turn to do the "cat cat dog" and be chased. If the student manages to tag you, however, then he/she can sit back down and you are "it" again.

Once "cat cat dog" has been used a few times feel free to change the animals (or even better, have the standing student choose). "Pig pig monkey", or "horse horse cow", for example. This game can also be used with colors, the alphabet, or anything really. Also, make sure that each student gets a chance to chase and be chased. If a student is slow on foot and continues to get tagged, then you could implement a three-time limit or something of that nature.

Students will really get into this game that allows both vocab practice and the chance to run around! The build-up factor is really important - when explaining/modeling be sure to be enthusiastic and over-emphasize the climactic "DOG!".


Yoshio Leeper
Hiroshima-ken, Japan
[email protected]

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