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GRADE LEVEL:  grades 3-6

EQUIPMENT NEEDED:  none or small ropes or belts bandannas (Western Knots).

HIGHLIGHTS: teamwork, cooperation, thinking ahead and problem solving skills.

INSTRUCTIONS:   Divide the class into teams of six or seven.  To begin the game, have groups form a circle.  Students are then instructed to hold the hands of two different players.  Players cannot hold both hands of the same player, nor can they hold the hand of a player next to them.  When the teams are ready the signal is given for them to begin unraveling their knot.  Players are not allowed to let go of each otherís hand until the game is finished.  When the knots are unraveled students should be in a circle with their hands joined.  Occasionally, two intertwined circles may be formed.

HELPFULHINTS: Encourage students to help one another.  The Younger classes have a tendency to start moving and pulling with no plan in mind.  Stress that solving this problem takes thinking, planning and teamwork.   

Variation - One variation that I use is called western knots.  Personally, I give each student a flag belt (bandanas, hankies etc would work as well) to hold in one hand.  Instead of holding onto another players hand, they will hold onto the free end of another players belt.  The belt will be more forgiving when it comes to awkward knots, and also allows a little more space to move.  As teams become better, I will join them with other groups to make a very large knot.  When you do this, you almost need belts.


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