Charli wrote about free edible pie that was available at College in honour of Pi Day. Of course, my mind went somewhere else.
I thought about the pieces of pie we try our best to collect as we travel around and around the Trivial Pursuit board, hoping that when we get a question for a piece of pie, we’ll get one we can answer correctly.
The most difficult is the final question, when the tray is filled with every flavour of pie and the other players decide which question will be the most difficult to answer. This family allowed each player to choose one free piece of pie at the beginning of the game in order to speed it along. I hope you enjoy the story.
The Last Piece of Pie
Josie wished they’d hurry. It was past her bedtime.
“Blue’s the hardest,” said Adam.
“Maybe for you, but she got it before,” said Bridget.
“She got them all, dur.”
“What was her free one? Anyone notice?” said Dirk.
“Yellow,” said Ellen. “Definitely.”
“Here’s your question, Grandma,” said Dirk.
Josie’s eyes were closed. Her mouth was open. A gentle snore rumbled out.
“Is the right answer,” said Adam. Everyone giggled.
Josie snorted awake. “What did you decide?”
“It’s okay, Grandma. We declared you the winner.”
Win or lose didn’t matter in the pursuit of happiness. It was all rather trivial.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.
Note: The collection of stories made in response to the previous prompt Robotic Writers can be read at the Carrot Ranchhere.
Freeze, or Musical statues as it is sometimes called, is a popular childhood game wherever groups of children gather.
While not suggesting that playing the game has any great educational benefit, it can be used with good effect from time to time in early childhood classrooms.
As with other games, it does provide opportunities for children to:
participate in a social situation
understand and follow game rules
accept game decisions, for example being out
respond in positive ways to their own participation and the participation of others
It also provides opportunities for activity and to release tension.
In this post I describe how to play the basic game and a few variants and suggest some times suitable for its use.
How to play Freeze
The basic game
a manager, often a teacher or parent but can be a child
a group of participants, often children but anyone can play
enough space for the participants to move about without bumping into each other, and
a source of music that can be played and paused.
How to play:
The participants find a spot within the defined space from which to start the game.
The manager plays a piece of music. Moving to the music, the participants move about the space without bumping into any other participants.
After a few seconds (varying duration between approximately 2-20 seconds) the manager pauses the music. As soon as the music is paused, the participants must “freeze”. Anyone seen moving is out of the game and sits to the side.
The game continues until only one participant remains.
Variant #1 — Topic words
No music is required.
Before the game commences the manager, or the manager in consultation with the participants, decides on a set of specific statues to be used in the game. These statues are explained and demonstrated to participants.
The manager turns away from the participants and counts loudly to ten, while participants form one of the statues. After ten the manager calls “freeze” and participants freeze in the statue they have chosen. The manager then calls out one of the statues and turns around to see who has made it. Those who did remain in the game. The others are out and sit to the side. (The reverse can also be played with the called statues going out and the others staying in. Participants would need to be informed of this before the game begins.)
When learning about butterflies, participants could make these four statues:
egg — curled up in a ball on the floor
caterpillar — prone on the floor
chrysalis — standing with knees bent out to the sides and one hand pointing up while resting on the head (attached to a leaf or twig)
butterfly — fists on hips and elbows out to the side (for wings)
When learning about shapes, participants could make these four statues:
circle — fingers meeting above head, arms forming a circle, feet and legs together
square —arms out to side, elbows in line with shoulders, forearms and fingers facing upwards at right angles, feet and legs together
triangle — legs wide apart, and hands on hips with elbows out to the side, making three triangles in all
rectangle — lying on back on the floor with arms and legs extended straight upwards
Suggestion: the possible statues could be written or illustrated on a dice to be rolled or on cards to be selected.
Variant #2 — Groups
Music is required.
The manager calls a number from 2 – 5 then starts the music. While the music plays participants quickly form groups of that number. They must freeze in group formation when the music stops. Groups that do not freeze and participants who are not able to join or form a group are out of the game and sit to the side.
Play the game until four participants remain. Call all participants back into the game to move to the music once again.
This game can be a fun way of exploring groups using the number of children in a class. No one is out in this version.
Count the number of children in the class. Write the number on the board or chart. Play the music. Participants move to the music. When the music is paused call out a number. Children quickly form groups of that number and freeze. As a class count the number of groups, identify the number in each group, and how many “left over”. Write the information on the board or chart. Repeat with all children participating for different numbers.
Variant #3 — Find a partner who
Music is required.
This activity will be noisier and require more time than other versions.
In this version participants try to link up with someone with a similarity; for example the same colour eyes, the same number of people in the family, the same favourite colour, or who plays the same sport.
Before the music starts tell the participants who they need to find. When the music stops, those who have not found a match sit to the side, as the others explain their matches.
Everyone joins in again for each new round.
Suggestion: Add a bit more fun with this one by having partners freeze touching the same body parts together, for example, ankles, elbows, tops of head, or bottoms.
Suitable times for playing Freeze
To transition from a noisy activity to a quiet activity
To provide an opportunity for movement during lengthy sessions of seated work
To dismiss children for recess (use Variant #1 rather than the basic game)
To ease a tense situation
To settle children and prepare them for the next activity
My first thought was to the movie “Frozen” which my granddaughter enjoys, being completely captivated by Elsa and her beautiful blue dress. I thought she should prefer Anna who shares her name (though pronounced differently) and hair colour.
My second thought was to the scientific explanation of cold as the removal of heat. It’s all relative. Instead I decided to go with a bit of fun. However, for my flash I did incorporate a little science thinking spurred by the question “Why do ice cubes crack when you drop them in drinks?”
To an external observer she would have appeared immobile as if frozen in place and time. But her insides churned as the heat engulfed her body in a wave from toes to head. She thought her heart would erupt from her chest and wasn’t sure she could contain the contents of her noncompliant belly or from which end of her body they would spew. Others mouthed soundless words, their messages obliterated by the relentless pounding in her head. Just when she thought she’d crack, like ice exposed to sudden temperature change, she breathed deep, composing her tumultuous fear-fuelled mind.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts about any aspect of this post or flash fiction.