Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back to School Games with Pete the Cat

Teaching procedures the first weeks of school require your students to listen and follow directions.  Teachers need a toolbox full of games, songs, and activities to help our young students build their stamina for listening and following directions.  Playing games that help your students learn each other's names will foster a collaborative learning community too. 

Pairing favorite books with activities helps children have a connection to their learning.  Pete the Cat books are my favorite for the first of the school year games and activities!  Young children just love him too.  So what better way than to engage them into listening and following directions than Pete himself.  I begin by reading Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.

This game can be played several ways.  You will need one button to hide.  I use my Pass the Pete can or Pete Pointer for this game.  Directions for making Pass Pete are HERE.


Children sit in a circle. 
Take off one of the buttons.
Have the children place their hands behind their backs and close their eyes.  NO PEEKING!
Place the button in one student's hand.
Children open their eyes.
Have everyone put their hands in the lap with fists closed, so the button stays hidden. 
Start the chant.


(Your Name) hid the button from Pete's jacket. (class)
Who me? (teacher)
Yes you! (class)
Couldn't be! (teacher)
Then who? (class)

(Choose a student who does not have the button) hid the button from Pete's jacket. (teacher)
Who me? (student)
Yes you! (class)
Couldn't be! (student)
Then who? (class)

(Student picks another student) hid the button from Pete's jacket.  (student)
Who me? (student)
Yes you! (class)
Couldn't be! (student)
Then who? (class)

Play continues until button is found.   The player that has the button says, "I did. It's true!"


To make it easier the first time, model how to play the game by hiding the button in your hand.  Start by going around the circle beginning with the child on your left.  Say the chant as in the directions above until you get to "Then who?" The student on your left that you named says the name of the student on her left.  Play continues around the circle until it returns to the teacher.   The teacher says, "I did.  It's true!"  


Play this similar to Doggie, Doggie Where's My Bone.  Send a child to an area of the room where he can't see circle time or have him turn around.  For understanding these directions, the child's name is Josh. Hide the button as in the steps above.  Call the student (Josh) over when the button is hidden.  The student (Josh) gets to lead the chant trying to find the button.

(Names a student) hid the button from Pete's jacket. (Josh)
Who me? (student named)
Yes you! (Josh)
Couldn't be! (student named)
Then who? (class)

Student repeats until the button is found.

The student that has the button will be named Tessa for understanding these directions.

Tessa hid the button from Pete's jacket. (Josh)
Who me? (Tessa)
Yes you! (Josh)
I did. It's true! (Tessa)

Tessa now gets to be the student that hides her eyes and guesses.

If you like these Pete the Cat activities, check out:

Following Directions with Pete the Cat

And stop by PreK Pages for even more Pete the Cat ideas. 

                                       Links are provided for your convenience.

Thanks for stopping by!

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