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Learning Through Inquiry: Makerspaces, Manipulatives, and Boardgames

Why Board Games?

Why board games?

  1. Play is an important part of our mental and social development.
  2. Games provide stories and information, presented in a new format.
  3. Many board games challenge students to think critically.
  4. Playing a board game is an “inquiry-based research process.”
  5. Board games are an effective way to employ cooperative learning in the classroom.


Journal Articles

Standards Aligned to the Use of Board Games and Makerspaces

Gaming by Bloom's Taxonomy

Mayer, Brian, and Christopher Harris. "TABLE 2.1." Libraries Got Game: Aligned Learning through Modern Board Games. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010. 17. Print.

How to Prepare for Game Time

1. Consider the lenght of time needed to teach how to play the game and to set up the game.  How many students will play?  How long does it take to actually play the game? 

2. How will you break down the playing time for a longer game?

3. Why are the students playing this game?  Is it for simulation or role playing, anaylsis of an issue or concept, or is the game being used to teach a specific concept?

4. Prove It.  Don't forget to align the game with curriculum standards and always have specific learning objective(s) that you want your students to achieve.

Internet Resources

The "Oscars" of the board game industry.

The Spiel des Jahres is Germany's Family Game of the Year award and the most prestigious award a board game can win. Click this link to review current and past winners.