Your Move! Create a Board Game and Review History: A One-Week Classroom Activity by Christine Bell

Article excerpt

Day 1: Invent

1. Invent a board game (a game that fits into a box or a bag) with your team members. Base the game on anything you like: a favorite movie, television show, computer game, sport, or another board game. The game should fit on a tabletop or a small space on the floor. For example, your game could have small pieces moving around on a path on the board, or you could create a game that is similar to "Twister", in which the game board printed on a large ground mat. Read through all of these instructions before you start thinking about your design--there are more requirements.

2. Sketch out a design showing how the game will look. The design of the board game must relate to the period of history you have just studied. For example, if you have been studying the American Revolution, the game pieces could be named for British, American, French, and citizens of other nationalities who were involved in that war. Silly combinations are okay. For example, your game could include Sponge-Bob characters dressed in clothes from that period of history.

3. Homework: Each team member gathers and brings in lots of the materials needed to build your board game.

Day 2-4: Build

4. Create the various parts of the board game. Every game needs these seven things:

* History cards (explained below)

* a board or playing field of some kind

* an attractive box that the game fits into, with the names of the team members listed on it

* game pieces that move around (or students themselves can be the "pieces," as in "Twister")

* a way to move the pieces around (like spinning an arrow or tossing a coin onto a board of numbers).

* a way to keep score

* written directions telling other kids how to play your new game

5. Create 100 History Q&A cards. Questions go on one side and correct answers on the other. Draw your questions from the period of history we have been studying. Create the sort of questions you might find on a history test in this class. Use resources in the classroom (such as maps, text books, other books, an encyclopedia, and your class notes) to be sure that your questions are interesting and challenging and answers are correct. …