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HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Technical Reading and Writing Using Board Games

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Technical Reading and Writing Using Board Games

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Erin Crisp

New Palestine, Indiana

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • improve technical writing and reading skills through the process of creating a board game.
  • work together in small groups to accomplish a common goal
  • review ideas and events from fictional reading.
  • exercise creativity in the completion of a board game.
  • read and interpret the technical writing of other students.

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Session One

  1. Separate students into small, heterogeneous groups (no more than five per group).
  2. Write the following ideason the chalkboard:
    • Design
    • Directions
    • Questions/Answers
  3. Explain to students that each group will be responsible for creating a board game with the following requirements:
    • The design covers how the game board, cover, cards, and pieces will look.
    • The directions, properly written and published using the ReadWriteThink Printing Press, explain how the game will be played.
    • Questions/Answers refer to the plot, characters, etc., from the class-read novel.
  4. Explain that the entire group will decide what the game will look like, how it will be played, and the number of questions and answers the game will include. Group members must be able to answer the questions and give input on how and what questions should be asked.
  5. Either assign or ask students to choose roles (ie. Designer, Director, Questioner) for the project. Emphasize that all members of each group should contribute to all aspects of the game.
  6. Give each group the Board Game Rubric that shows how each requirement will be assessed and discuss the requirements with students. The rubric will be kept by the students and turned in with their project.
  7. Show students all of the materials and explain the general game format.
  8. Demonstrate how to create the game board and related materials:
    • Open the folder and draw the game board or glue a game board handout to the inside of the folder. The layout should cover as much of the inside of the folder as it can with the game board. Stress that the boards should be neat and information complete.
    • Write the name of the game on the folder tab.
    • Write a draft of your game's instructions using the Writing Instructions handout. On this sheet, write a title, materials needed, game play steps, and any diagrams that will help people play your game.
    • Decorate the front cover of the folder with the game title and, for example, a scene from the novel.
    • Use the brochure option in the ReadWriteThink Printing Press to publish the instructions for playing the game. Place the finished brochure in the file folder.
    • Place all game pieces and question cards in envelopes. (Paper clips with colored paper attached to them make great player markers, and I provide dice for students to use when playing. Zipper-seal bags attached to the game board with tape also make great pockets to hold question cards and game pieces.)

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Session Two

  1. In their groups, students will continue to work on the creation of their games.
  2. Once students have finished designing their games, suggest that they spend the rest of the class period playing their games to see if everything makes sense and works how they intended it to work.

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Session Three

  1. Students may continue to play their own group's game, as well as those of the other groups. [Note: This only works if all students in the class have read the same novel for which they created their games].  Have them check against the Board Game Rubric for their own and others' formats, applying the rubric as a prompt for feedback.
  2. Rotate around to each station in the room, playing each game for about ten minutes. Students should leave comments on a piece of paper at each station and at the end of the class period vote on which games had the best design, were the most fun to play, had the most easily understood directions, the most creative concept, etc.
  3. The following questions can be used to prompt a post-lesson discussion and reflection:
    • What would you do differently to your game now that you've played everyone else's?
    • How do you think your group worked together?
    • How do you think you could have gotten things done more efficiently?
    • What was it that made some games more fun to play than others?
    • How important was it to write good directions?
    • What did you learn from this project?
  4. Give students the opportunity to make changes to their games after having the above discussion. You also may choose to use the Student Rubrics that they handed in with their projects as an assessment tool.

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EXTENSIONS

  • If students read different novels for this project and created a variety of games, they can be kept in the classroom "game closet" to be used as review when other students complete the respective novels.

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

  • Students are assessed informally through their group work and post-lesson discussion and reflection, and formally using the Board Game Student Rubric.

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