How to Play “The Dot Game”
You could use a large whiteboard, butcher paper taped to a wall, large paper on an easel, or even a chalkboard.
Place a series of dots on the board. I didn’t want the game to go for too long, so I started with 3 dots across and 3 dots down (for a total of nine dots).
Determine who goes first (paper, rock, scissors or flip a coin). Draw one line between two dots. That’s one turn. The next player, draws another line between two dots. And so forth. If a player completes a square, they get to claim that square by placing their first letter of their name in the square, and they get to draw another line. The player with the most squares at the end, wins.
You can have two students play against each other. I had the audience play against me. Each time it was the audiences’ turn, we just picked random people to play. It was fun. I gave candy to each person who came up and drew a line.
Watch “The Dot Game” in Action
Normally games are just for fun for us in Main Street. This game, however, had a sneaky teaching element to it. Each time the students who came up drew a line, I gave them a piece of candy. I waited patiently for each student to say thank you when they got their piece of candy. I even followed them off stage for a few seconds to give them extra time (I didn’t rush the game at all). However no one did.
One of the Bible stories we were tackling that day was Jesus healing the Ten Lepers and how only one of them came back and thanked Jesus. I referenced the “Dot Game” we played at the beginning of Main Street and how each participant got a piece of candy for drawing a simple line between two dots and how no one said thank you. I assured them that this was a setup and that I wasn’t frustrated with them, but the lesson was poignant: Are we thankful, even with the little things? Or do we just expect adults to give us candy and get us stuff?