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Subject: Cluzzle - An Art Teacher's Review rss

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Brian Hutcheson
United States
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Clay + Puzzles = Cluzzle, a board game that can be an exceptional tool in the classroom,
adding fun while building students high order thinking skills. Cluzzle immediately
caught my eye as a game that can capture student’s attention and be accessible to all
students. The basic premise of the game is for players to make a sculpture for others to
guess. Sculptures that are never guessed receive no points. Sculptures guessed quickly
receive a few points. Sculptures that require some thought, but eventually are guessed
receive the most points. In essence, the game is not about being a great sculptor, rather
your ability to ask the right question, listen carefully, and shrewdly imbue ambiguity in
your artistic creations (an easy job for most of us). In this review, I will be focusing on
the benefits of this game in the classroom, which will briefly touch on the overall process
of the game. If you would like a more complete run down of how the game works, check
out these links:

Great components
The game is made of high quality components that lend themselves to the abuse that
students unintentionally and sometimes intentionally put upon a classroom resources.
Each player or team receives a clay station of one of six colors, a small tub of clay
matching their clay station, four round & thick cardboard coins with question marks on
them matching their color, a small pencil, and a guessing sheet. The clay stations provide
a place for students to create their sculptures and help keep the clay from getting all over
tables. The clay station and the question coins are made of durable thick cardboard
wearing well against student’s abuse. My only suggestion might be to add a little bit of
water to your clay after each use to prevent it from drying out. The game also includes
two sand timers that keep the game moving and circular scoring track also made of thick
cardboard. Best of all, the box vary conveniently holds all of the components

Higher Order thinking skills
Students are challenged throughout this game to use higher order thinking skills under the
guise of fun. After each player/team finishes their sculpture they are brought to the
center of the table around the scoring track and the question phase begins. Each
player/team has four question tokens to symbolize their four questions. They may ask
other teams yes/no questions about their sculptures during this two-minute question
phase. In order to make correct guesses the students need to synthesize their observations
of the sculptures, the answers received from their questions, and the answers from other
people’s questions. Asking the right questions can be critical as well as flexing their
synthesis skills.

Intrapersonal skills
If played with a large group of people teams can be formed and the interaction of the
team members is essential for success. Coordination of how to create their sculpture andwhich questions to ask can help a team capture those few points that make the difference
in the final score. Also, during the question phase all players/teams are asking their
questions all at once thus building students abilities to interact with one another.

Great for large or small groups
Cluzzle can accommodate up to four to six people or teams. I have effectively played the
game with classes over twenty students and with as few as four people. Ideally, the game
plays well with six teams of two or three.

Works in a variety of settings
I love using this game in my art room as it gives students who may not feel confident
with their three dimensional skills a chance to work freely with a three dimensional
material in a fun, un-intimidating way. It also helps students connect their observations
with questions equipping students to better participate when we critique each other’s
artwork. I have experienced this game working really well with ESL students and the
cards that dictate what the students create could be altered to include their vocabulary
words. That might also be the case in an English class where the words might relate to a
novel that is being read in class. The game can also be taught and played in a relatively
short amount of time.

Cluzzle is an exceptional tool in a classroom setting, connecting learning with fun in a
seamless experience. Best of all, the game is very easily altered and customized to a
wide variety of classroom settings.
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