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Teacher: Debbie Glaberman who teaches at Heritage Middle School in Wake Forest, NC. Debbie Glaberman can be contacted at dglaberman@wcpss.net.

Name of Best Practice: Healthful Living Board Game

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To reinforce concepts/skills taught during units presented in health classes.

Suggested Grade Level: 6-8

Materials Needed: Poster board, markers, paper, bottle caps, dice, magazines, sample (manufactured) board games.

Healthful Living Board Game

During the last week of health class for the school year, I have students work in small groups to create board games that focus on the knowledge and skills pertaining to the information presented in health classes throughout the school year. This serves as a good way to have students review their notes, reflect upon all the knowledge/skills they have learned, work cooperatively towards a common goal and have fun during and after the projects have been completed!

I bring in several manufactured board games to help students get an idea of what is needed to plan, design, construct, and present a game (e. g., aesthetics, playing pieces, rules/directions, etc.). I also bring in a game that I have created as well as a few that students created in previous years. Each group will focus on one unit taught during the year. Information presented on the board game should contain factual information and promote healthy lifestyles, provide rules/directions, include accurate spelling, have a logical (creative/catchy) name and be playable.

While I do supply bottle caps for game pieces and dice for each game, students often come up with other ideas for game pieces and/or create spinners and/or huge paper dice, as well. Many groups will choose to use a "Chutes and Ladders" or "Candyland" format, however, I do encourage students to "think out of the box." I am always amazed at the creativity exhibited by my classes!

Students collaborate and work on games for 2-3 days; on the third day, each group should pilot (play) their own game. On the fourth day, the teacher will facilitate a round-robin format to allow each group the opportunity to experience playing other groups' games. The games reinforce students' knowledge/skills, and students have time for appropriate interaction that is both academic and fun!

Variations:

Have each group create a board game that incorporates all of the units covered in class.

Students may create a game using cards and/or technology.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

The teacher may develop his/her own rubric to assess each group's final product and/or develop checklists for students to critique each others' work and render peer assessments.

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Posted on PEC: 8/17/2012 and has received 69 votes.

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