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Play the Game “Semut, Orang, Gajah”

Inspired by Carmen Sandiego Episode 3, students play the Indonesian version of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Play Ant, Person, Elephant

As kids learn more about Indonesia from Carmen Sandiego episode 3, they can play this hand game, the Indonesian form of Rock, Paper, Scissors. The game, called “Semut, Orang, Gajah,” translates to Ant, Person, Elephant.

Activity Instructions

Kids learn and play an Indonesian version of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Estimated Time: 15 minutes
Materials Needed: None

  1. Explain to your kids that there is a game in Indonesia that is very similar to Rock, Paper, Scissors. It is called “Semut, Orang, Gajah” or Ant, Person, Elephant.
  2. Tell your kids that in this game an elephant, or gajah (GAH-jah), is represented by pointing your thumb at your opponent. A person, or orang (OH-rahng), is represented by pointing your pointer finger at your opponent. An ant, or semut (SEM-ooht), is represented by pointing your pinky finger at your opponent. A gajah beats an orang because an elephant can trample a person. An orang beats a semut because a person can step on an ant. A semut beats a gajah because an ant can get into an elephant’s ear and bite and annoy the elephant. You can create a table with this information (listed clearly below) to help kids remember the rules as they play.
  3. Allow the students to play the game with a partner.

Rules of Ant, Person, Elephant

It may be helpful to reproduce these rules as a table and place it where your kids can see it as they play.

Ant:
Word in Bahasa: Semut
Indonesia Pronunciation: SEM-ooht
Hand Motion: Point pinky finger
Wins Against: Elephant

Person:
Word in Bahasa: Orang
Indonesia Pronunciation: OH-rahng
Hand Motion: Point pointer finger
Wins Against: Ant

Elephant:
Word in Bahasa: Gajah
Indonesia Pronunciation: GAH-jah
Hand Motion: Point thumb
Wins Against: Person