Friday, December 18, 2020

Guest Blog Post: Making a File Folder Game

I love having guest bloggers, so please always feel free to reach out with a teaching idea you'd like to share! The more the merrier when it comes to curriculum brainstorming!

A veteran homeschooling grandmother in our co-op created an awesome board game about New Zealand for the first block of the year, Mathematics. To review and practice a wide variety of computational skills in September, she and her 6th grade grandson created an imaginary trip through New Zealand. This involved a lot of research about the continent itself, and then the creation of real-life math problems around the topic of the trip. She lent me the game and I took lots of photos. They did a great job!

I have never made an educational board game with a laminated file folder before but it is such a cool idea and much less expensive than a create your own board game kit. Zac was really curious, and enjoyed playing it even without doing the math problems. He liked the little kiwi bird playing pieces (which she found on Etsy at BecauseMyDreams).

Flossie writes:

    We were looking for a different way of learning and/or reviewing some math algorithms. After reading the book about the Kakapo bird, from New Zealand, I decided to make a file folder game similar to another game I had created when the kids were much younger. I decided to use distance, time and money problems. I also included chart reading, time tables, menus and money conversion (US to New Zealand and back). I had a game pamphlet put together that includes game set up, instructions, special options, charts and the answer key. Each problem is numbered in coordination with the cards for ease of finding the correct problem in the answer key.

    K participated in choosing the kinds of math problems and the information used in presenting the problems. We googled information related to the game- places to visit, activities to do at these places, and foods common to tourists. He helped in completing the layout of the board, game rules, special instructions and options. He also solved each math problem to create an answer key.

    I created approximately (some problems include more than one algorithm) 5 Distance problems, 9 Time problems, and 15 Money problems. Eight problems used chart information.

    Math skills range from simple addition to converting Metric to Imperial.

Thank you, Flossie, for sharing this fabulous idea! Here are some photos:

they made a beautiful rules booklet with answer key

the playing pieces are adorable!

all of the information you need to solve the problems is included

it was clever to retype the questions along with the answers in the key,
in case any of the cards get lost

there are 28 cards total with a wide variety of problems

card #4

card #11

card #17

card #22

card #25

The book which inspired all this was Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot by Sy Montgomery. It is fascinating and a great read for grades 5-8. For adults, the kakapo is also given a chapter in Douglas Adam's hilarious and thought-provoking Last Chance to See.

I think that a travel-based board game like this perfect project to review basic math skills in 6th grade at the start of the year!

I've also been thinking, since Waldorf has skewed Eurocentric in the past, about how Oceania could be a World Geography topic in grade 6 and the traditional celestical navigation and explorations of the early Polynesian and Micronesian peoples could be tied in with that grade 6 Astronomy block.

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