PBA – Create a Class Game Board Project

This is a fun PBA (Project Based Assessment) project for students to do.  It takes some planning, but it can be adjusted to accommodate any/language level.

This is a long-term project (usually an entire semester).  It is student-centered.  Students have control over the design and rules of the games (for individual team projects) and control over what mission cards or question cards, and avatars they create (individual group or whole class).   

This can be a small group project where each team creates its own game over the course of a semester, or it can be a large class project where each team creates a section of the game board. When doing this as a small group project you can give the students a lot more creative freedom.

In either situation, after each learning module have students create a part of the game: one time it is working on the board, another time they make chance cards or mission cards or question cards, and another time they make the characters for the games and the rules.  

I usually give students at least 1 class hour a week to work on their games. If you do not see your student frequently, 1 class hour every 2 weeks works, too. Students learn and reinforce class lessons in English by creating the parts of the game, and they practice reading, listening, and speaking through playing the game(s). 

Elementary & Secondary: An added bonus when you need a class lesson to fill time. After working on the games for about 4 – 6 weeks, students should have completed enough of the game boards that you can take the games out and have students play the games in teams. It is a great review and language practice tool.

When planning this project think about:

Kristina Kauss August 2022

Elementary School 5th and 6th grades created their class game board based on a map of their neighbourhood. The units they were studying first to start these projects were about giving directions.

Each team was given a B4 size paper with a section of their neighbourhood. They traced the map, made larger blocks for different places on the maps, and wrote the names of places in English.

They wrote the names of streets and businesses, landmarks, and other buildings they learned about in class (hospitals, police stations, schools, post offices, restaurants, supermarkets, movie theatre, etc…).

Then they coloured their maps and used markers to outline building locations.

Once the map basics are completed glue them onto hardboard so they don’t rip, and they will survive until at least the end of the semester. Usually, 2 B4 Papers fit on one board. You can cut the boards in half to fit the B4 size, so teams can continue adding to the boards from future lessons.

Next, students created game cards based on the language they learned from the 2 weeks of lessons (review!) which included mission cards about asking for and giving directions, chance cards that had TPR directions, and jeopardy cards for losses and advancement.

Some classes added hints at the bottom of the cards for the more difficult questions.  Other classes wrote hints/ answers upside down in smaller print at the bottom of the cards. 

After each of the following topic’s lessons (appearances, food, restaurants, going to the doctor/dentist, etc…) they added more features to the game boards (specific stores, restaurants, and other topic-related locations), created game avatars, danger zones, and bonus areas. The students also created the rules for the game (with the teacher’s help).

When using this for PBA for a final exam: provide students with an analytical rubric when you hand out the directions, so they know what the parameters and expectations are.

Instructions for Secondary+ Students (Different game boards made by each team):

  • 4 partners will make an English Speaking Board Game using all language/ grammar studied during the semester.  ALL UNITS.   ALL Vocabulary & Grammar
  • Board games must be English SPEAKING games.
  • Teams have the freedom to design the theme of their games.
  • Teams must create the rules, avatars, and all game pieces for their games.
  • The games are due the week before exams.
  • Teams will present their games to the class, and they will explain the idea behind their game and how to play the game (the game rules).
  • On the final exam day, teams will play the games they created, and then you will play the games other teams created. (Station Rotation)
  • After playing each game for about 15 – 20 minutes, students will write a 2-3 sentence review of the game they just played.
  • You will be graded on Language use (spoken) during each game and the evaluations you write about the games after you play.

Secondary and 1st-year University students’ creations

Some teams got very creative.

Others kept their designs more basic. Which was Okay, since the presentation and speaking portions of the exam were worth the most marks.

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