Comenius Booklet

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Traditional Children Games Booklet

Fekete István-Vörösmarty Mihály Általános Iskola és Gimnázium, Ajka


HUNGARY Hungary is situated in Central Europe. It is a landlocked state with many neighbours – Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. Its population is about 9.8 million inhabitants. The official language is Hungarian, also known as Magyar, which is part of the FinnoUgric group and is the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language in Europe. Most of the country is flat, with low mountains. The hills in the western part of the country lead to the Alps, while higher hills lying to the northeast are part of the Carpathian Alps. The biggest river is the Danube. The capital of Hungary is Budapest. With about 2 million inhabitants it is the political, economic, commercial and cultural centre of the country. It is also one of the most important railway junctions in Europe. It lies on the two banks of the River Danube. Buda and Pest were two towns before 1873 when the two parts of the city and Óbuda were officially united. It is rich in history and culture and it is famous for its curative springs. Lake Balaton, nicknamed as the Hungarian Sea, is one of Hungary’s precious treasures. It is the largest lake in Central Europe; it’s a popular holiday resort with Hungarians and other Europeans alike. The Hungarian cuisine is very special, hot and spicy due to the common use of paprika. Typical Hungarian dishes are: Fish soup, Goulash soup, Stuffed cabbage, Gundel Pancake.


Ajka Ajka is an industrial town in Veszpém County on the western hills of the Bakony Mountains not far from the Lake Balaton. By a legend Ajka is located on the territory, where a giant lived. Once he stumbled over the Somló Hill and struck his lips. Lip in Hungarian 'ajak', 'his lip' in Hungarian ‘ajka'. Where his lip touched the ground a town grew, called AJKA. The short history of Ajka Around 1000 B.C. the area was inhabited by Celts then it was conquered by the Romans. The Hungarians occupied the area in the early 10th century. The village itself was first mentioned in 1214 when it was already about a hundred years old. Ajka developed slowly during the next few centuries. Real prosperity came only in the second half of the 19th century when coal resources were found nearby. In the 1930s vast bauxite resources were found too. Cool and bauxite mining was the most important industries in the region but in 1996 the mines were closed. There are many beautiful sights and attractions in Ajka.


Our school Our school is named after a Hungarian poet Vörösmarty Mihály and a Hungarian novelist, Fekete István.

The school was built in 1975, when it was only a primary school. Later, in 1993, the first grammar school class started. It is a complex institution. Schoolchildren are taught in three school buildings and the school itself represents two forms of teachings. These are primary school and secondary grammar school. The priorities of the school are language learning –English, German, French-, physical education and the protection of the environment. At present about 900 students attend the school and about 90 teachers work here.

The school is a huge yellow building in the city centre. In the school there are lot of classrooms, two IT rooms, a huge gym, a big hall, a library, special laboratories for languages and sciences, a canteen, and two football fields in the school yard.


Hitting stick game (Bigézés) Playing Bigézés was a very popular outdoor game in the 19th – early 20th century Hungary and the Hungarian speaking area. It was played mainly by rural youth. The game involves a 13-15 cm long and 2-3 cm wide piece of wood sharpened on both ends and a 100-150 cm long stick used as a bat. Players make up two teams. The members of Team A are standing in a queue. The bige is placed on a stone or just on the ground. The first player strikes at one end of the bige with the stick, tips it up into the air and hits it to a distance as far as it is possible. Everyone has got three trials. If the batter misses the bige three times, he is out of the game. The next player comes; he has the chance to make trials. After each hitting, players measure the distance in step and score the number made. Finally, the players’ points are added together and teams change position.

The mill game “Mill” is one of the oldest board game known in all Europe. This game needs at least 2 players. Each player has nine (black and white) pieces or “man” placed on the board’s 24 spots. The “man” can move among the spots but just on the boards’ lines. In the game players have to place three pieces in a row (horizontal or vertical) to make a mill. The player forming a mill can capture an opposing piece of his choice. Object of the game is to leave the opposing player with fewer than 3 pieces therefore he can’t move anymore. For the mill game we made the board from recycled paper at the project meeting in Ajka.


SPAIN Spain occupies most of the Iberian Peninsula, stretching south from the Pyrenees Mountains to the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain from Africa. To the east lies the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain's Balearic Islands. Spain also rules two cities in North Africa and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic. Many Spaniards share a common ethnic background: a mixture of the early inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula, the Celts, and later conquerors from Europe and Africa. The origins of the Basque people in the north of Spain remain unknown. Recent immigrants from North Africa and Latin America have added to the mix. Spain is divided in 17 parts called autonomous communities. Each region manages its own schools, hospitals, and other public services. The Spanish language is the official language but six autonomous communities also have other official languages such as Catalan, Galician and Basque. Spaniards are known for their love of life and for eating and drinking with family and friends. Regional dances and music are almost as important as soccer and religious festivals.

Some facts of Spain: The Spanish name for Spain is Espa単a. The population of Spain in 2012 was around 47 million. The currency used in Spain is the Euro. The largest city and the capital of Spain is Madrid. The second largest city is Barcelona, which is located in Catalonia. Mount Teide is the highest mountain in Spain (3718 m) and is an active volcano.


Pontedeume Pontedeume is a coastal town that has less than 10.000 inhabitants. It is located between A Coruña and Ferrol, in the mouth of the river Eume, in the sea inlet of Ares. According to the legend of the town a young rich girl crossed to the other side of the river to see her wealth. But the river level rose sharply and broke her boat. A man passing by offered help but she had to sign a scroll. She signed the contract without reading it. The gentleman carried out the agreement and bridge appeared that allowed the girl to go back to her castle. Two years later the man reappeared and asked the girl for her soul as she promised. That man was the DEVIL. He took the girl to the highest part of the bridge and ordered her to throw herself off. She was terrified and sought help of the Holy Spirit that caused the flight of her captor. In gratitude the girl had built a chapel. The bridge was called “ponte do demo” (bridge to devil) that later led to PONTEDEUME. Nowadays Pontedeume relies on commercial tourism, it has many trendy shops. It is a tourist town that receives a large number of vacationers during July and August. It is a well-known trade center of the region. It also has a significant food market. Fishing is one of the economic engines of the town. Other sights, which are worth visiting: The Andrade Tower: This is an old tower in homage to the Andrades´ Fragas do Eume is a natural park with lots of endangered species


The school In 1913 a priest called Baltasar Pardal founded in La Coruna the school of La Grande Obra de Atocha, located in a slum. Over time, the school has spread to other places, not only in Spain but also in South America. Its headquarters is Escuela Hogar San JosĂŠ and it is located in Pontedeume. It was founded in 1940. It is a Charter school of Catholic ideology. It consists of Pre-Primary Education, Primary Education, Secondary Education and Professional Training. The number of students generally ranges between 200 and 250 and there are 28 teachers working here.


BrilĂŠ This game needs two teams with the same number of players and a ball. The field of the game is divided into four parts by means of three parallel lines. Count six metres (this distance is approximate) from the central line to the left and to the right and draw a line in each side forming two areas (team A and team B). The zone from these secondary lines backwards will be the prison of each team. The aim of the game is to send all the opponents to their corresponding prison. You have to throw the ball trying to touch ('brilar') your rivals. When a player is reached by the ball, he is 'brilado'. So, he goes to prison and he can help his team to eliminate the other opponents from there. The winner will be the first team that eliminates all the opponents.

Frog game It consists of a box with several holes in the top surface. The number of holes, size and design of table and the rules all vary from region to region. Players attempt to throw coins or disks in the holes which score differently according to their difficulty. Disks that land successfully slide down to the front of the table to a compartment at the front of the table showing the score. The most difficult hole is in the shape of an ornate frog in the middle of the board but this scores the highest point.


POLAND The Polish State is more than 1000 years old. About forty million people live here. The country is beautiful you can find here many wonderful mountains for example High-Tatra, or bustling cities.

Capital city of Poland is Warsaw since 1596, which is an important scientific and cultural centre. About 2, 4 million people live there.

The Hungarian and Polish friendship was formative and influential over the past 1000 year.

“Pole, Hungarian — two good friends, together they battle and drink their wine.”


Piekary Śląskie Piekary Śląskie is a small town in South – Poland. About 60 000 people live there. It is located in the Province of Silesia about 15km north of Katowice, the capital of the province. Katowice is a famous place amongst the Catholics because Pope John Paul II was born and spent his childhood here. The town is the home of many interesting monuments and memorials. It is famous across Poland for its Marian Cult of Our Lady of Pikeray, the destination of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims a year. There is a men’s pilgrimage in May and a women’s one is August. According to this cult, the painting of the Madonna, which can be found in the Basilica of St Mary and St Bartholomew, has got magic power: people praying for Madonna will recover from any illnesses. Piekary is a godly town: the Route of the Rosary, 15 chapels, 14 Stations of the Cross and a cemetery are located in an extensive park.

The highest point of the town is the Liberation Mound. The mound was built to remind future generations of the heroic insurgents killed in the Silesian Uprisings in the 1920s. At festivals the whole town walk to this hill to celebrate.


The school Miejska Szkoła Podstawowa nr 9 z Oddziałami Integracyjnymi im. Gustawa Morcinka w Piekarach Śląskich is the full name of the school. Miejska Szkoła is the biggest school in Piekary Śląskie with the largest number of students, namely 550 students attending 22 classes. The school came into being at the turn of 1955 and 1956. One of the most significant dates from the school’s history was the year 1960. Then on 22nd March Hanka Sawicka, the Polish activist, became the school's patron. The school is relatively big. It's the biggest primary school in Piekary Śląskie. There are two storeys in the school building. The first floor is occupied by young students, namely the first (six and seven year olds), the second (eight year olds) and the third graders (nine year olds). There are classrooms and students of the fourth (10 year olds), the fifth (11 year olds) and the sixth (12 year olds) grade on the second floor. In Poland students start primary education at the age of 7 obligatorily but voluntarily they can attend school at the age of 6. There are also two learning support classes per level. They cater for children at all ages .The children in these classes have a range of special needs, from severe and complex learning difficulties including Autism, Asperger syndrome, communication difficulties and many others. Early years classes are taught according to integrated teaching curriculum. They take also active participation in Information Technology and English classes. The majority of students are active Catholics so the school offers opportunity to study Religious Education as well. Students who are not willing to attend them can opt for Ethics. Here is the list of obligatory subjects for older students (4th, 5th and 6th graders): Polish, Maths, English, Nature Studies, History, Technology, Music, Art and Information Technology.


Palant game Palant is very similar to baseball, there is a striker and a catcher team. Each team has got 8-15 players. One by one, the team members hit the ball from the nest with the palant (a wooden bat) aiming to strike it as far as possible into the field and then run, ideally to come back to the nest to score. The striker gains points if he can do this before the "field players'' (catchers) catch the ball and throw it back behind the nest line. The player can do it in four parts reaching particular bases (points A, B or C) and stopping if necessary, or at a time. If the ball hasn't left the field yet, the striker can do it at a time. The higher scorer is the winner.

Comenius kite At the project meeting in Poland each nation made its own Comenius kite, which symbolised our common European values and our good partnership in the programme.


ESTONIA We visited Estonia, the most northern of the Baltic States. Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union and belonged to the Eastern Bloc just like Hungary. It regained its independence in 1991. It is a mainly flat country on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, with many lakes and islands. We saw a lot of trees and lakes too.

Language in Estonia Estonian is the official language of Estonia. It is spoken by about 1.1 million people in the country itself and then thousands of others outside it, too. Estonian is a FinnoUgric language and is closely related to Finnish and distantly to Hungarian. The younger generation speaks English very well. It is easy for them because the movies aren’t dubbed only subtitled, so they can learn the English language more easily.

Estonian cuisine Many different nations that ruled the region – Danes, Germans, Swedes, Poles and Russians – have influenced the Estonian cuisine. Among the traditional dishes there are marinated eel, blood sausage and sauerkraut stew with pork. We ate lasagne and some fish as well. There was an interesting soup made of the leg of the pork, which was quite strange for us. However, we liked the food we got.

Some facts and experience  Great food is everywhere and you can even eat marinated bear there!  In winter it gets very cold and they get plenty of beautiful snow. No, there are no polar bears in Estonia. Although, when we were in Estonia there wasn’t any snow.  51 % of Estonia’s land area is covered with forest. We took a trip to Nõva Park.  Tallinn is the medieval capital and by far the biggest city, with a population of around 400,000. In 2011 Tallinn was the European Capital of Culture.  Estonia has over 1,500 islands.


Happsalu Haapsalu is a seaside resort town located on the west coast of Estonia. Haapsalu has been well known for its warm seawater, curative mud and peaceful atmosphere.

Haapsalu’s castle and cathedral, which dates back to the 13th century, is one of the best medieval complexes in Estonia. We saw a lot of museums, exhibition halls showcasing local finds, mysterious cellars, an alchemist’s laboratory and an infirmary of the Middle Ages’ medicine. You can climb to the top of the bell tower to enjoy stunning views over the town. There is a legend about a woman who fell in love with a monk. She wanted to enter the cathedral but women were banned from entering it that’s why she put men’s clothes on, but it was discovered and she was walled up. In August full moon she comes back to haunt the cathedral in form of White Lady. Africa beach was the main bathing beach of the first half of the 20th century. Right now there is a bird watching tower, a dance pavilion and a children’s playground with many attractions. And why is it called Africa Beach? Because visitors on the shore put dark mud on themselves so they looked like Africans.


Uuemõisa algkool (Haapsalu School) In 1994 Uuemõisa Lasteaed-Algkool was established in the manor house. First there were only two classes – the 1st form and 4th-5th mixed class. Year after year new 1st form students came to study in the school and this May the school celebrated its 20th birthday. The kindergarten for 40 children was opened in September 2010. They have 6 forms, one class each. In Estonia students start school at the age of 7, the school year starts on the 1st September. Kindergarten is voluntary, but since the parents have to go to work, the children go to kindergarten. But at the age of 7, the school begins definitely. At the school they don’t have very big classes; the biggest is with 26 students. In the smallest class there are 14 students at the moment. In the school, folk dancing is very popular. The students take part in every national song and dance festival in Tallinn, which takes place every 4 years. There are also national song and dance festivals for students, the choir and dance groups always take part in them. There is also a music classroom. They have very beautiful music class; it is full of light and different musical instruments. They love the music lessons because they can sing, listen to music, play instruments and draw pictures. There is a library. Students spend a lot of time here, reading or borrowing books, playing board games or using Wifi to play games on the internet. The computer classroom is quite modern. They have computer lessons in the 4th form, students study different programmes, how to find information on the internet, how to use internet safely. They also use computer class in other subject, because they often have tasks that require internet use. They have two longer breaks, the first is after the 3rd lesson, and then the students from grade 1st-3rd have lunch. The second longer break is after the 4 th lesson, and then the students from grade 4th-6th have lunch.


Estonian traditional games Last pair out To play the “Last pair out“ you need at least 5 players, but there can be more. It is important to be odd number of players. Everyone needs to find partners and they have to stand in a row. The player who is single stands in front of the row and calls: “One, two, three, last pair out!“

While calling, he/she claps three times above his/her head. The last pair lets go their hands and starts running towards the single player. The goal is to get back to your partner. If you reach your partner before the single player catches you or your partner, you go back to the row and you will be the first pair. If the caller catches your partner or you then they or you have to go back in front of the row and will be the first pair. The player who was caught will be the next caller. If the caller couldn't catch a partner he/she goes back and calls again. I think it’s a really simple but good game.

Vurr Vurr is a traditional child game. A century ago, a vurr was made by pulling a doubled piece of string through the middle of a pig foot’s bone. The string was tightly twisted and then yanked on both ends so the bone spun extremely fast, making a whirring (VURR) sound. Today a large button serves the same purpose. At old times it was used to banish bad demons, but today it’s just a good game. We had the possibility to make one for ourselves so we can show it to our friends and families as a curiosity. It was a really good project, we enjoyed it extremely.


TURKEY Turkey is a country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Some people see Turkey as the "gate" between Europe and Asia. The area of Turkey is about 780,000 square kilometres. The money of Turkey is called Turkish Lira. The main religion is Muslim. The capital city is Ankara in central Anatolia.

Turkey is a popular place for tourists to visit. It has hundreds of kilometres of beautiful beaches on its Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, and many important historical places. The cultural and economic centre of the country is Istanbul, which is in Europe.

In the past Istanbul was called Constantinople. This is the place where the famous Orient Express Luxury Train begins its journey to Paris across the main European cities.

The Turkish cuisine is mostly the heritage of Ottoman cuisine. It is the mixture and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines.


Trabzon and Akcaabat Akçaabat is a town and district of Trabzon Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey. It is located on the east of the city of Trabzon.

The first settlers of the town came from Aegean shores and named the town "Platana" because of the abundance of plane trees.

Trabzon is a city on the Black Sea coast of north-eastern Turkey and the capital of Trabzon Province. It is located on the historical Silk Road and important seaport. The city was founded in 8th century BC. Suleiman the Magnificent was born here. Trabzon has a number of tourist attractions, some of them dating back to the times of the ancient empires that once existed in the region. The Church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) is one of Trabzon’s Principal sights. In 1461 the building was converted to a mosque.

Situated in a very beautiful and natural setting, Sumela Monastery, built in the 14th century, is nestled into the side of rocks in a famous valley in Maçka, only 50 kilometres away from Trabzon. It is a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary.


The school Meşeli Primary and Secondary School is situated in the North-East of Turkey, in a small village, 5 km far from the town centre, Akçaabat. The school has a very old background as it was founded in 1961. The building was small; the number of the students was little. In 1998 the school was rebuilt with 8 classes, one teachers’ room, one IT room and a Science Lab, and the number of students rose too.

Pupils, aged 6 – 14 years, attend the primary and secondary school. At present about 145 pupils (including the kindergarten) attend the school. The teaching staff is young and excited to teach, which makes a lot of changes in students and parents’ lives, affecting their cultural and social perspectives. The school holds lots of celebrations and cultural programs such as cultural visits within the city and caters for students to have social and cultural skills. The particular emphasis of the school is placed on the development of sports, consciousness of nature (scout crafting), language learning and ICT.


Traditional Turkish Games DOKUZ TAĹž (NINE STONES) Materials: * Nine flat pieces of marble (or stones can be used) and a ball. Preparation: *Students split into two groups (Group A and Group B). *They draw a circle on the ground. * They put the stones on top of each other and make a tower in the circle. *About 15 steps away from the marble tower they draw a line. How to play: Group A starts the game. The players stand behind the line. Group B stands behind the tower. A player of Group A uses the ball to hit the marbles and knock them down. When one of their players hits the marbles the group members (group A) run away. The players of Group B (behind the marble tower) try to hit the players of Group A with the ball while they try to rebuild the tower. If they put all nine marbles on top of each other and build the tower one member of the group steps on the top of the tower with one foot and shouts "Nine Marbles!" or "Nine stones!" Then they get one point and they start again.

Bilyali At the beginning of the week we watched an award-winning film about a boy and his "Bilyali". The film was shot in the mountains around Trabzon. In the past rural kids played with this wooden toy, which is very similar to a skateboard. During the meeting we made and rolled downhill with our Bilyali in the nearby forest. We also organized a mini contest among the nations. It was awesome.