Students create a board game based on their reading.
This game is a culminating activity for a book in which students have tracked the feelings of the main character. This sample is for the book Snowed in with Grandmother Silk. (See November’s Recommended Book post.) The game board which I have put together on the inside of a manila folder consists of 3 different colored spaces. The children then accessorize the board to make for a more exciting game. Here they have added a ladder which enables a lucky player to advance an additional 8 spaces in one turn. They’ve also written directions on random spaces: Go ahead 4, Stay where you are, Go up 6, Switch places with someone, and Go backwards 3.
The students’ main job is to make happy, sad, and question cards for the game deck. To do this, they are given index cards to match the colors of the spaces on the board. In this example, the events that caused unhappiness in Ruddy, the main character, are on pink cards. The pink cards direct a player to go back a certain number of spaces. Conversely, green cards contain happy events and a directive to go ahead a number of spaces. Yellow cards are question cards. If a player answers the question correctly s/he rolls the dice again and moves forward. If not, s/he remains on the yellow space. During their reading of the book, my students have marked pages with smiley face and frowny face post-its, making it easy to pull details from the text when they get to the stage of creating game cards.
Some close-ups of sample cards are below.
Other books I’ve found that are well-suited to this game format:
The Flunking of Joshua T. Bates – Susan Shreve
the Akimbo books – Alexander McCall Smith
the Ginger Brown books- Sharon Dennis Wyeth