Thank you so much to all of you that offered help and suggestions of so many games. Thank you to Duck who proofread (should that be two words? oh well, it's staying that way for now) my essay last night on the spur of the moment at 10:00p.m. (yes, I am a complete and utter procratinator.) I think it was pretty good. In case you're wondering (which I'm sure you aren't but I want a place to refer to to it), here's the essay. (most of the games that you've never heard of came from my friend Zap who has the most extensive knowledge of really great board games of anyone I've ever met)
Walt Disney once said, “I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.” This quote should be taken, printed, and placed in every classroom. With the amount of time students are stuck in the classroom today, it’s a wonder they haven’t completely lost all sense of imagination and wonder. Every moment is scheduled. Tests must be passed, scores must be raised, and recess is a thing of the past. Playing a simple board game could be the one time in a student’s day that allows him or her to unwind and use a part of his or her brain that is collecting dust from disuse.
With the benefit of the grant, six-hundred students would have the opportunity to engage their brain. In an after school club, students in first through fifth grade would learn to use cooperation, flexibility, dexterity, spatial reasoning as well as a multitude of other abilities. These skills, which are so difficult to teach through standard educational practices, come easily in the form of games. Students would be exposed to the familiar as well as the unknown. All types of games are available that are educational as well as entertaining.
Even the youngest school age children can learn good sportsmanship and friendly competition with games such as Memory, Chutes and Ladders, and Candy Land. Older children can learn these basics in games such as Sorry, Life, and Trouble. Students can learn to work together in groups to achieve a common goal in games like Terra. Guess Who and Cartegena will teach them to think ahead and use strategy. Games like Blokus and That’s My Fish entertain while children learn spatial reasoning. Fine motor skills and dexterity come into play in Dicecapades, Don’t Break the Ice, Pitchcar, and Jenga. Cranium Jr, Apples to Apples Jr, and Pictionary all help students to use critical thinking and problem solving skills.
In the end, an educator can’t go wrong if they follow Mr. Disney’s advice. By starting a game club at the elementary level, you set a child up for a lifetime of learning as entertainment as opposed to hoping to be entertained while learning.
I'll be sure to keep you all updated if I find out anything. ::fingers crossed::