Beginner Lessons is a series of 10 lessons to teach students the basics of chess from zero knowledge to understanding checkmate.
Using mini-games is a fun, effective, and engaging way to introduce children to chess. The game is taught piece by piece, before learning more complex concepts like check and checkmate. The following lessons were developed by Liam Murray and are complemented by a set of videos and posters by Andrew O’ Sullivan. Check out the Ficheall YouTube channel for more fun chess mini-games.
A chess teacher must first make sure that they have have enough chess sets and a demonstration board. Check out the Chess Resources page for more information on purchasing sets and demo boards.
Social Skills Through Chess
Within the series of 10 lessons you will also find lesson plans and resources to help you, a primary school teacher, to deliver a whole class/group social skills programme. The series of lessons will achieve specific learning objectives of the Social, Health and Personal Education (SPHE) curriculum for students from 1st to 6th class. The lessons achieve this through the use of short activities before and after each chess lesson. For instance, the first lesson (the Pawn) focuses on eye contact to show respect and uses the chess mini-game to practice this in a meaningful way. An short document which provides an overview of the social skills taught and SPHE learning objectives achieved from 1st to 6th class is available to view and download here:
Chess for Social Skills Overview – SPHE Curriculum
The Chess for Social Skills lessons were developed and tested in a real primary school classroom in 2020. The lessons were first released for use by primary school teachers in 2020/2021. Ficheall is keen to hear from teachers with feedback on the lessons. Please use the contact form here to get in touch.
Note: All links will open in a new tab in your internet browser (as PDF’s or YouTube videos) unless otherwise stated. Each lesson requires approximately 60 minutes to complete. Teachers of younger classes or those caught for time may choose to split the lesson into smaller chunks.