Motivating your students is admittedly one of the most difficult parts of your job as a teacher. Introducing games to your classroom grabs your students' attention, lets you have feedback on what they have learned and gives you an interactive way to review your lesson. Making a board game for your class requires a clear plan, format and rules. Get your students involved and let them help come up with questions.
Items you will need
- Poster board
Jot down ideas about the content you want to review in your classroom. Some ideas include famous authors, verb conjugations, historical eras, mathematical formulas, target vocabulary or the scientific process.
Jot down ideas on the format of the game. Ideas include creating a trivia game, strategy game, dice-moving game or a race game in which players try to cross the finish line first. Use your favorite board games to help you determine the format and layout of your class board game.
Jot down ideas on categories, if applicable. For a foreign language class, this can be "Verbs," "Grammar," "Vocabulary" and "Culture." These types of categories are ideal for an end of the year review board game. For a chapter test, use more specific categories like "Food Vocabulary," "ER Verbs" "Famous Hispanic Chefs" and "Dining Customs."
Type clear rules for the game. Include information such as general game play, how to win, behaviors to avoid and how to get an extra roll if applicable. Print out a copy for you to read to students and extras for students to read on their own.
Write the questions for the game. Type them on a question and answer sheet or on pieces of card stock. Put questions for different categories on different colored papers.
Make the board. You have the option to make an individual board for each group of students or to make one board on the bulletin board in your classroom for group review. Use a poster board or foam board for a group board. Pencil in the design of your board and use a ruler for straight squares.
Add graphics to your board. Color the board and any pictures on it. Use a marker to draw the lines between spaces. Color in any special spaces on the board that denote extra points or a free turn. Laminating the completed board will make it last longer for future students.
Make any necessary accessories. Make a spinner out of cardboard and a brad. Find tokens for each player, such as toys, tokens from other games or leftover chess pieces. Make your own tokens if you prefer.
Tips & Warnings
- Describe the rules very thoroughly before students play for the first time. Review the rules briefly for subsequent times students play. Let your students help make up the question to move up Bloom's Taxonomy.
- Remind students of behavioral expectations before you let them play the class board game. Some students may misbehave because they don't correspond a board game with "work," but remind them that playing the game is a privilege and rule violators may be removed from playing the game.
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