absolutely no talking allowed or the activity period ends.
each kid sits across from another with a checkerboard between them.
she walks around and sets a jolly rancher in the middle of each checkerboard.
the rule is that on your turn, you can move the jolly rancher one space. forward, backward, diagonal, side to side... doesn't matter.
then it's the other kid's turn to push it one space in any direction.
if it gets to the last row, all the way at your opponent's side, then you win.
your prize is the jolly rancher. save it or eat it right away, whatever you want!
if you finish a game, raise your hand and the teacher sets another jolly rancher on your checkerboard and you can play again.
some kids spend the whole time pushing the same jolly rancher back and forth, back and forth. other kids do that a little while... then suddenly figure it out. on each turn, they continue it along the same direction. One kid wins, they raise their hand for a new game, she brings them another candy. they push that one to the other kid. by the end of 10-15 minutes they each have a pile of jolly ranchers.
I keep running into scenarios like this even as an adult. our instinct is to compete and try to win, without realizing there might be a bigger, collaborative objective. every once in a while, somebody gets it. but half the class will stay lost.