Today’s game is one that I often played in my childhood. As I planned this post I fondly recalled a sunny afternoon, sitting in our front yard with a neighbour girl and moving the pieces one by one 🙂

The traditional name of this game is “Pedreiro e Carpinteiro” that translates into “Stonemason and Carpenter”.

Stonemason Photo in Public Domain.
Carpenter Photo by Richard. See licence here

I believe the game owes its name to the fact that by tradition, the pieces are small stones and sticks which represent the raw materials used in these occupations.

The game is very simple but could have quite a bit of educational value since it helps develop logical and tactical skills.

2 (excellent for quiet pair work)

To try to be the first player to make a “three in line” set.

1-150x150-4316833Traditionally, this game is played outdoors and players just draw the board on the dirt with a stick or, if they are lucky, they can use a broken roof tile (made out of red clay) to draw on concrete floors. Since at the moment it is still Winter around here, we have used a printable board (see freebie at the end of this post).

2-150x150-8182037One of the players will be the Stonemason and use stones for his/her game pieces, and the other player will be the Carpenter and will use the sticks as his/her game pieces.

3-150x150-5808325To select who goes first, one of the players hides a stone or a stick in one of his/her hands behind his/her back. If the other player guesses which hand has the stone or stick.

4-150x150-3177960Each player takes turns placing their pieces on the “board”.  Each piece is placed in one of the junctions between lines. The idea is to try and make a line of three while at the same time interfering with the other player’s strategy.

5-150x150-8925938After all the pieces are on the board, the players keep moving one piece at a time using the lines on the board. They can only move one line at a time.

6-150x150-2203880The first player to get a “three in line” wins the game.

7-150x150-5395936In the easier version of the game players use only the vertical and horizontal lines, but if you really want to challenge the players, have them  use the diagonal lines also!

This game is excellent to develop problem solving skills since players will have to consider the diverse alternatives to their next move, much like a game of chess or checkers 🙂

Also, to keep track of who’s winning or loosing, students can keep a tally as they play along!  This will help them make connections with data collection and number recognition.

This game could be adapted to help students practice math facts or frequency words, for example. You can use a set of cards with facts or words, and have the students quiz each other before they make their next move. If the player answers correctly, he/she gets to move their piece. If they answer incorrectly, they miss their turn. Quite an incentive to learn those facts, don’t you think? 🙂

I have decided to create a board and pieces that you can use in your classroom. This is a FREE  game set that will allow you to have a lot of fun in the classroom! 🙂

Also keep an eye on either of my stores for other versions of this game! I will be posting some very soon! 😀

Take care,