Paper, scissors, rock or rock, paper, scissors. Whichever way you say it there are no boundaries to the possibilities that this old classic can have in your classes daily. Some of you might use this to solve any problems or to finish an argument. Others might use it to teach students a game where problem-solving, strategy and critical thinking are involved. The beauty of using paper, scissors, rock in your class is that there are no boundaries. It is a superb activity that I have used with students of all ages inside and outside of the classroom.
The list I have put together below are my top five activities that involve PSR. I am sure that other teachers out there have many more that I have not heard of and I would love you to share. These education breaks can be used with students of all ages. If you have any questions or other activities that you use PSR for I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Paper, Scissors Rock Game Rules
Two players face each other and simultaneously throw out one of the following hand signals: rock, paper, or scissors. Rock is formed by making a fist. Rock “beats” Scissors, by blunting the blades. Rock is beaten by the signal for Paper, as Paper wraps up Rock. Scissors is formed by horizontally extending your middle and index fingers (a sideways peace sign). Scissors “beats” Paper by cutting it. Scissors are beaten by Rock, as Rock blunts Scissors. Paper is formed by holding your hand out straight, with the palm facing down. Paper “beats” Rock by wrapping it up. Paper is beaten by Scissors, as Scissors cut Paper. Generally, each player holds one hand out in front of their bodies, and they simultaneously chant, “One, Two, Three, shoot” and on “shoot,” both players display their signal. The player whose signal beats the other wins.
Alex, The Kid
Description: This game is also known as paper, scissors, rock train. Students move around and challenge each other to a game of paper, scissors, rock. The winning student continues to play the game; the losing student has to put their hands on the winner’s shoulders and follow them around like a train carriage. The aim of the game is to be the last student left with all the other students behind you like carriages. The winner is then called Alex the Kid.
Paper, Scissors, Rock Race
Equipment: 10 markers/cones to mark the playing area
Description: Split the students into two equal teams. They get together in their teams and decide that the team as a whole is going to play ‘rock’, ‘paper’ or ‘scissors’. They then ‘face-off’ at the centre line of a gym or field and on the count of three they play their rock, paper or scissors. Remember, paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, and scissors beats paper. Whoever wins then chases the other team to the end line of the field or gym and catches as many people as they can on the way. Those that are caught now join the other team. The game continues until all the players from one team are caught. This game is suitable for all ages.
Description: Evolution is a variation on rock, paper, scissors. Everyone in this game starts off as an egg and makes a funny noise. After the egg is the chicken, which makes a funnier noise, then a monster with a funnier noise still and last of all is a human who doesn’t make a noise. The aim of the game is to get from being an egg to a human using rock, paper, scissors. If you are an egg you must find another egg, and play rock, paper, scissors with them; if you win, you then turn into a chicken and so on till you become a human. The game also works the other way around. If you are a monster and you lose, you then become a chicken.
Rock, Paper, Scissors Posse
Description: Students start the game with a partner in their own space. Each pair then plays the best of three rounds of rock, paper, scissors. The losing student then goes off to the side and waits for the student who beat them to be beaten themselves. The winning students continue to challenge other students. When they are finally beaten, they stand on the side, and all the students that lost to them are free to join the game again. The game is continuous, and the only way you will have a winner is if one student beats every single student without losing. It is a great game that will keep students occupied for a long time.
Rock, Paper, Scissors Tag
Description: Start the game by splitting the class into three even teams. This game is played exactly how a normal game of rock, paper scissors is played. Just like the standard game, Rock beats (tags) Scissors, Scissors beats Paper, and Paper beats Rock. When a tag is made, the student who has been tagged joins the team who tagged them. The game continues until only one team remains. Here is how each player needs to run around to indicate what team they are in: Rock – place hands on own head. Paper – place hands on own shoulders. Scissors – place hands on own hips.
If you would like the paper, scissors rock education break activities as a PDF, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send them to you to keep with your other resources.