Brain Breaks Part 13: Chopsticks

Hello my friends!

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend! 🙂 Honeymoon was wonderful and everyone, EVERYONE must visit Cuba before they die… Thank you to those of you who wished us well while you were here in NOLA for ACTFL, and thank you for all your emails and messages of love! We are so lucky!

I started playing Chopsticks as a Brain Break last year when I saw students in line for class silently standing there in a battle that totally captivated them. They weren’t talking, they weren’t squirming, they were giant, clumsy, wonderful 8th grade boys, absolutely spellbound as they looked at their fingers and were dueling down to the minute I let them in my classroom. This is one of my favorite brain breaks for when you need something quiet. Sometimes, we have headaches, or our neighboring co-worker is giving a test, or maybe you just can’t… This is a great brain break for that….

The instructions for this seem ridiculously complicated written out… and LONG… I just tried typing them and I already had half a page just explaining the first three moves… and it isn’t that hard… So, instead, here is an adorable YouTube video of two little kiddos teaching you how to play.

The best part about this is MOST kids know exactly how to play… One class this year required literally NO explanation… Remember how important modeling is though! Ask students if they know how to play chopsticks, and take the first confident hand that shoots up, ask them to come to the front and play with you… I say play with you because then you can control the speed and explain the brain break in the target language if you choose!

Here is a video of my students doing it:

I hope y’all are enjoying the year! Happy December! Can you believe how fast it is flying by!?

Until next time,



La Maestra Loca



  1. Los niños del vídeo son adorables . Yo creo que mejor les enseño el vídeo a mis alumnos directamente con las explicaciones:)

  2. Hi – video doesn’t work here either and the only videos I’m finding are how to play it on the piano…. Help?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *