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Yes! Chess in PE


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Sally White from Palm Bay, Florida submitted this great idea for grades 4-6.

Background: As a way to get a respite from the outdoor heat and humidity, we begin teaching our 4th-6th grade students the game of chess during the last 10 minutes of class. Like most elementary schools in Florida, we do not have a gym.

After visiting several local libraries and checking out all the kid’s chess books I could find, we settled on the teaching method that I would highly recommend. We teach the moves one piece at a time, starting with the pawns; then play a game with just the pawns and the King. Next, we introduced the castles and played a game with the pawns, castles, and the King. This continued until all the pieces have been added. Combining that approach with first reading to my students the “story” behind each piece from The Kid’s Book of Chess by Harvey Kidder captured my students’ imaginations and made for an exciting way of teaching Chess!

We obtained five free chess sets and boards from the U.S. Chess Federation, 3054 US Route 9W, New Windsor, NY 12553. Others sets were donated or bought. We now have enough sets for a class of 32 students.

Join the Chess Club! During the two open periods I have each week, students are invited to my room to play Chess. We encourage our students to teach and play Chess with their parents and siblings.

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