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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Games in the Classroom

Subject: Adapting real games to teach content rss

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Benjamin Benson
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Has anyone just taken existing games to teach content?

I was thinking of starting off with very basic games, for example, Hearts. Get a regular deck of cards and card sleeves and then make-up mock fronts. I teach history, so for example, use some historical situation or person or event or something like that and then paste it to the front of the card.

Next you deal out the cards like you would in a game of Hearts but whenever somebody plays a card, they have to read the text. So, Hearts starts with playing the 2 of clubs, so whoever has that card would put it down and say something like. "Harlem Renaissance: a cultural and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem after WWI." Then the next person may play Q of clubs and read their card, "Red Scare: a period in US when there was a suspicion of communism and fear of widespread infiltration of communists in the US government."

By playing the game multiple times during the day in some competition to see who gains the least amount of points in the class (since you want the least number of points in the game), they hear the words and terms and concepts multiple times.

Then maybe upgrade to something like Spades where they have to make predictions and maybe move on to a Hanabi version. Ultimately you keep stepping up the complexity of the game.

Has anyone done something like this? Any suggestions for exploring this?
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Robert Wesley
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There are actual 'card games' with what you're "proposing", and I'm NO 'expert' of them. Great Women: Foremothers <='click' link.
 
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Benjamin Benson
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GROGnads wrote:
There are actual 'card games' with what you're "proposing", and I'm NO 'expert' of them. Great Women: Foremothers <='click' link.


Thanks for the example, sadly it says absolutely nothing about how the game works or plays or provides really any info other then a picture of four of the cards.
 
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What about a rummy game where you have to collect the like pieces of information instead of just read them out? I suppose it could still work with hearts as well in a way. But, you know, if the suits were all pasted up with info that belongs together.

So one suit would be "the red scare" . And to win with the red scare you've got to collect palmer and Sacco and Vanzetti and Emma Goldman etc etc etc. Or in hearts, I guess you could make the really important details worth more so that they'd want to havePalmer because he's going to trump anything anyone else has got.

Just a thought, so the ideas are linked then in the students heads with regular play.
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Jeffrey Allers
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casualcasual wrote:
What about a rummy game where you have to collect the like pieces of information instead of just read them out? I suppose it could still work with hearts as well in a way. But, you know, if the suits were all pasted up with info that belongs together.

So one suit would be "the red scare" . And to win with the red scare you've got to collect palmer and Sacco and Vanzetti and Emma Goldman etc etc etc. Or in hearts, I guess you could make the really important details worth more so that they'd want to havePalmer because he's going to trump anything anyone else has got.

Just a thought, so the ideas are linked then in the students heads with regular play.


...and when you meld, you have to rank them in order (for example, if the cards were events, you would meld them in the order they happened, and perhaps get bonus points at the end if you were correct).

I might be biased because I am a game designer, but I think that the games could be much more effective if there is a connection between the theme and mechanics. When designing games, I use theme to help make the mechanics more intuitive, and you can approach it the other way around: use the mechanics to make the theme easier (and more fun) to learn about.
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Benjamin Benson
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casualcasual wrote:
What about a rummy game where you have to collect the like pieces of information


Ohhhhhh! I really like that! Thanks!
 
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Benjamin Benson
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jeffinberlin wrote:
casualcasual wrote:
What about a rummy game where you have to collect the like pieces of information instead of just read them out? I suppose it could still work with hearts as well in a way. But, you know, if the suits were all pasted up with info that belongs together.

So one suit would be "the red scare" . And to win with the red scare you've got to collect palmer and Sacco and Vanzetti and Emma Goldman etc etc etc. Or in hearts, I guess you could make the really important details worth more so that they'd want to havePalmer because he's going to trump anything anyone else has got.

Just a thought, so the ideas are linked then in the students heads with regular play.


...and when you meld, you have to rank them in order (for example, if the cards were events, you would meld them in the order they happened, and perhaps get bonus points at the end if you were correct).

I might be biased because I am a game designer, but I think that the games could be much more effective if there is a connection between the theme and mechanics. When designing games, I use theme to help make the mechanics more intuitive, and you can approach it the other way around: use the mechanics to make the theme easier (and more fun) to learn about.


Yeah, I was thinking about that theme and wondering how to make it work. I felt in more advanced type of games that could come in later, that could be more effective, I just wanted to get very simple basic games down and then build on the basic concepts into more complex concepts. I also thought of having the students design their own decks for a time period and they would have to rank and justify why something of one suit was at the bottom and work their way up to the top card. Maybe all topics in one suit are economic issues, another suit is political issues or maybe inventions or something.
 
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Jeffrey Allers
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A lively discussion could develop if you asked them to rank them in order by their importance and influence on history, and then ask them to defend their choices. More subjective, but also better at getting them to think about history and what we can learn from it.
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