Easy! Fun! Flexible!
Don’t forget to teach the basics!
Many students come to school without knowing how to play boardgames. Students are enamored with the many game pieces, bright colors, special spaces, and fun of boardgames! To Guarantee a learning environment in your classroom and to get the most out of game playing teach the behavior and expectations you require. Before you offer the exciting practice of boardgames to your students remember to teach routines and procedures for the basics. Here are some suggestions:
Introduce the game board. Explain what students see on the board. This includes any graphics or writing on the board. Identify the start and end spaces on the game board. Show where the gamepeices line up and where to put the gamepiece on each space.
Introduce the game pieces. These include items such as a spinner, a die (or dice), and game pieces. You may have to explain the function of what each game piece is by describing its function. A fun classroom rule when passing out game pieces is to chant, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit!” J
Practice moving the game pieces around the game board in the correct direction. Practice rolling the dice. In my class we have a rule that if the dice goes off the table, the player loses his/her turn. Explain to students that game play goes in a clockwise direction.
Encourage students to talk about what it means to play fair. By sharing specific examples such as taking turns and waiting patiently while another player makes his or her move will set the tone in your classroom. Use students’ responses to form the basic ground rules around playing gameboards. Talk to your students about winning and losing. Give them the phrases to use at the end of the game…”congratulations on your win, but watch out next time, I am on your heels” or “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose as long as you have fun!”
Present the vocabulary of gameboards. Make a word wall and include words like die, dice, spaces, spinners, board, clockwise, etc.
Read the game directions. Have the child repeat the directions back to you to make sure he/she understands how to play. Remind students that game play is a privilege.