Time Required:

10 minutes

Tools Required:

  • Regular bishops, knights, and rooks
  • Giant rook, bishop, and knight

Chess Objective(s):

Students will be able to:

  • Identify different chess pieces by name and shape

General Objective(s):

  • Enhance gross motor skills
  • Improve pattern matching ability


Set up the rook, bishop, and knight spread wide apart in the field or play are. On the giant chessboard, hold up a rook, bishop, or knight, and ask the students to tell you which piece it is. Ask them to tell you how they can tell which one is which. Repeat asking them which piece is which 2-4 times, randomizing the order.

Now, tell them you’ll hold up a piece and they should run to the right piece in the field. (Demonstrate). Let them know when they’re right. Get them to run back to the board between pieces.

Variation 1:

Add both colors of the piece to the field. Tell them to run to the giant black bishop, white bishop, etc.

Variation 2:

Add more pieces.

Variation 3:

Add silly movements in, similar to The King Says – crab walk to the bishop, hop to the knight.

Description for Parents:

First, the children identified pieces as the coach held them up as the rook, knight, or bishop. They talked about how they could tell which was which. Then, they got a chance to do the same with the giant pieces. The coach would hold up a small piece, and the children got to run to the matching big piece in the play area.