CLARKSVILLE—Clinton-Massie teachers Amy Kreider and AJ Schmitmeyer and Gifted Intervention Specialist Curt Bradshaw teamed up during the school year to develop a cross-curricular, project-based, learning experience that would challenge their fourth grade enrichment students.
Kreider and self-proclaimed “gamer” Schmitmeyer guided students as they studied existing board games and evaluated the efficiency and clarity of the directions, ease of set up, and most importantly, the enjoyment of the game.
Once the evaluations were completed, students formed groups and were charged with designing and creating board games of their own that would include the writing of directions, making of a game board and pieces, and a game competition that would center around students’ knowledge of social study concepts as related to the history of Ohio, early Native Americans, or the American Revolution.
To put the student-made board games to the test, over 50 young gamers, parents, and teachers attended Clinton-Massie Elementary School’s Family Game Night where students proudly displayed their games and challenged one another to some friendly competition.
“The Family Game Night was a way for us to help our students proudly unveil their final products with families and members of our community,” said Bradshaw.
According to parents in attendance, there was a nice variety of games to play and students did a great job of writing clear directions and making fun game pieces. Students were equally impressed. “I learned a whole lot” said fourth-grader Marty Kreider. “For one thing, designing a board game is hard work!”
According to Bradshaw, the goal of this project was to challenge and enrich advanced learners by providing opportunities for authentic, project-based learning in alignment with curricular standards, and while that might be the case, for those attending Clinton-Massie’s Family Game Night, it was all about the fun.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.