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Posted in Academic Decathlon

Throughout the semester, we will engage in various games and activities to help prepare us for the competition.  Some of them are listed here with brief explanations of how they work.

Knots (Team Building): student teams (of approximately 9) stand in a circle.  Closing their eyes, they then reach out and grab the hands of someone opposite them.  They cannot grab both hands of the same person and they cannot grab the hand of the person next to them.  Once all have grabbed hands, the team will open their eyes and attempt to disentangle themselves.  Although students can re-grip, they cannot detach and re-grip to undo a tangle.  The goal: to wind up as a connected circle.

Two Truths and a Lie (Interview): Each student will prepare three statements about themselves - two of which are true, and one of which is a lie.  As homework, the night before, students will write down their three statements, lettering them (A), (B), and (C). The next day, the class will divide into groups of 6 - 8, each group will sit in a circle and be numbered off.  Students will write down the names of everyone in their group (including themselves) next to their assigned number.   Students will then go around in a circle and present their three statements as if they are introducing themselves.  Each of the other students in the group may pose a question about one of the three statements (in order to figure out which one is the lie), which the student must answer.  Then the group must guess which statement is the lie: (A), (B), or (C), writing their guesses on the paper numbered off with the names for the students.  After everyone in the group has introduced themselves and been questioned, students trade papers in order to correct each others' paper. Students will then reveal which statement is the lie.  Students score one "point" for every lie they identify (including their own) and score one point for every person they fool effectively.  Special awards will then be given to the Best Lie, the Most Interesting Truth, the Best Questioning, and the Best Answering.  (The total of these three things - correct guesses, # of people duped, and bonus awards - is then summed up and the number of students in the circle is deducted: the remainder is extra credit points.)  Students staple their scoring sheet and their Two Truths and a Lie sheet together and turn them in to the teacher for points.

I am Picasso, You are Cassat (Art and Music Identification): Students will sit in a circle in which the seats of the circle have names corresponding to the artists and composers we are studying.  In a rhythm, students call out, "I am .... [and the name of the artist at whose seat they are sitting]; You are ... [and the name of another artist's seat]."  The person in the seat they just called must then reply with "I am ... [artist's name]; You are... [another name - but NOT the one that just called them]."  If a student makes a mistake, they move to the "last" seat of the circle and everybody moves up one space to fill up their position, changing names as they change seats.  For variety, students can use the titles of the art or music instead of the name of the artist or composer.  After a certain length of time (possibly determined by a piece of music when it ends), the three students in the most advanced seats at the beginning of the circle are declared the winners.

Literary Terms Vocabulary List - In groups of three, students will come up with examples of each of the terms.  Students should write down their examples so that they will remember them when the lists are used for reference later on.  For example, if a student is asked to give an example of Dramatic Irony, instead of simply writing "Romeo and Juliet"  students should write something along the lines of: When Romeo heads to get Juliet but doesn't get the message that she is merely in a deep sleep and so he thinks she is dead, even though the audience knows she is alive."