Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Memorizing Facts? Let's Play A Game

Like it or not, third graders need to spend time learning or let's say memorizing factual information. In Virginia our kids learn about the Ancient Civilizations of Greece, Rome and Mali. It involves them remembering names of rivers, temples and other facts. They need to know it and will be tested on this information come spring on the state test.

In trying to come up with a way to make the study of this info a little less painful I had my kids create gameboards to go along with a set of question cards. We brainstormed the questions together and I typed and printed them out. It was a rainy day today so kids couldn't go out for recess anyway so it was a perfect day to make a game. The kids were told to create a game that showed what they know about the civilizations. I'm grading them on these boards and using a rubric that assesses: content, quality and creativity. Here are some examples of what they came up with:
I loved this one. The game pieces are the little Greek figures.

This one is building a road across the board. We learned that the Romans were masters at road building!

This board includes the god Zeus. You don't want to get Zeus angry when playing this one!

This one has tiles and the markers. We learned that the Greeks and Romans decorated their buildings with mosaic tiles!

The kids were productive and busy! They did a pretty good job of monitoring their voice levels. Here is our voice meter. Our entire building uses these voice levels and I love the consistency throughout the whole school.

My kids will get to try out their boards tomorrow by playing it with friends. Then this will go home as part of their Make It and Take It Study Packet for the Civilizations. Hopefully moms and dads will spend some time playing a round or two with kids.

Here are the questions my kids came up with for my Stafford and Fairfax Friends (or anyone else who teaches this content).

Greece Rome Study Questions


  1. The games turned out so cute--great idea!!

    I love your voice students often have difficulty remembering to use their "indoor voices" :)

    A Chocoholic Teacher

  2. I'm very much in support of old school rote memorization. It just has a place. Thanks for the neat game ideas.

  3. I would have loved to have taught this subject when I taught 3rd grade, but I think that's either 4th or 5th grade in Flordia..but cute games!
    The Teachers’ Cauldron

  4. Thank you so much! I am starting with Mali next week and will be moving into Greece and Rome after. What a great idea!