In October, I was able to share thoughts of incorporating games into the classroom with fellow teachers at the Georgia Council of Social Studies. The following are some thoughts about what I presented, as well as a Top Ten list of games I think would be great for classroom use. In my seminar, I offered information on many more games, but the Top Ten can be considered a starter set for those who want to test the gaming waters first.
Why Incorporate Board Games?
Well, teachers who incorporate board games into the classroom do more than teach a standard for one day. Teachers often incorporate simulations into their classroom. Unfortunately, a simulation is a one-time offing. A cooperative board game can be used not just to gain historical knowledge but also for the simple benefit of playing a game. For example, a student who enjoys playing a round of Carcassonne may be motivated to play the game again with their family. Wouldn’t it be nice to have students play games with their family for fun? These games are a gateway to allow students to get more history into their lives.
My Top Ten Games for the Classroom
1. Pandemic—2nd Edition, Z-Man Games. Great for Geography, AP Human Geography. Playing Time: 1-2 Class Periods
2 (Tie) Carcassonne, Z-Man Games. Geography, AP Human Geography, World History. Playing Time: 1-2 Class Periods
2. (Tie) New World: A Carcassonne Game, Z-Man Games. World History, US History. Playing Time: 1-2 Class Periods
4. 7 Wonders, Asmodee. World History, Government. Playing Time: 1 Period
5. Ticket to Ride, Days of Wonder. Geography, AP Human Geography, World History, US History, Economics. Playing Time: 2-3- Class Periods
6. Twilight Struggle, GMT Games. US History, Government. Playing Time: 1-2 Class Periods
7. Pillars of the Earth, Mayfair Games. World History. Playing Time: 2-3 Class Periods
8. Alhambra, Rio Grande Games. World History, Economics. Playing Time: 2-3 Class Periods
9. Archaeology, Z-Man Games. Geography, World History. Playing Time: 1 Class Period
10. Catan Histories: Settlers of America, Mayfair Games. US History. Playing Time: 2-3 Class Periods
Monopoly, Hasbro. US History, Government, Economics. Playing Time: 2-3 Periods