IQ TEST is BEST
I am not a great fan of Minibridge. Mainly because too many people lose interest in the game before they learn the principle of trumping.
Whilst that is not a big problem in school projects where it is ON the CURRICULUM, when it is a voluntary after-school (or lunchbreak) activity, many give up the game within two weeks of having started. For the record, it most definitely is ON the curriculum at schools in France from age 9 and Thailand at 7 years. I understand it is 8 years in Poland and in China.
I prefer the system which gets new recruits, whatever their age, to take an immediate and lasting interest in the sport. i.e. finish the lesson wanting to practise or play as soon as they return to their homes.
A good example can be found on the `educational benefits` page of this site: A mum and her two boys all keen to practise trying to make thirteen tricks with only 5 points in the two hands combined. And practise the play of that hand is exactly what they did. In the Malaga airport departure lounge within hours of their 20 minute introductory bridge lesson!
As for the IQ method I refer to, time constraints don`t allow me to explain that fully now either. But the clues to how it works are in the same articles about the German fanily group lesson.
Normally I can do the IQ test at the end of the first lesson, but in this case the 8 year old`s score would have been influenced by the fact that he used up as much brain power on language translation as on learning how to trump.
If, however, all three had been English, I would have shown them the priniciples of trumping by playing a few different but straightforward hands during the lesson. I would then give them the very special hand (shown below) to take away. For them to do their own self assessment IQ test at the airport as follows:
Laying all four hands on a table in the cafeteria, the first one to work out how to make the 13 tricks (with only 5 points between him and partner) has the highest IQ. Theoretically he should be capable of becoming the best bridge player in that German family. But who would it be? And would Mum be happier if it was her who had the highest IQ?
Of course it doesn`t matter. The point is it gives all three in the family the motivation to want to practise a fundamental of the game at such an early stage.
Interestingly, this IQ test usually reveals who is the best at school in MATHEMATICS. Worth knowing when suggesting to a headmaster he introduce an after school bridge club. If he agree to try the experiment, tell him to get the Maths teacher to send you the four pupils who are top of the class at Maths in each school year.
At the end of the first lesson, a good ruse to capture their imagination before they do the IQ test, is to tell them you are applying the football play off system. Tell them you want to find out not only who really is the best at Maths, but who is going to end up the best bridge player. If that doesn`t motivate them to concentrate when you do the thirteen trick five point test, nothing will.
The success of the school project is thus guaranteed.
By the way, the motivation for the bridge coach is that he will always be guaranteed a job at the school. As a Maths teacher, of course.