Friday, February 3, 2012

Battle Stories

I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and a variety of other social skills, I find I can often use the games to work on math and literacy skills. So, every Friday, I am going to post a Friday Game Night post, giving tips on how to use a particular board game in your classroom. Here’s this week’s Friday Game Night Tip:


Battleship – Part 2 (Literacy)

Battleship is one of those two player games that can easily be played by 2 players or 2 teams. When I use it in my classroom, I always start with 2 teams when they play with me and then get kids to play with just 2 players when they get to centers. It’s not a bad idea to have 2 games of Battleship (or any other 2 player game) so that more kids can play at the same time on the centers level. I will warn readers that this game is definitely more geared to an intermediate classroom (3-5). I used it a lot with my 3rd graders, but haven’t had the opportunity with my 1st graders, although I have a group I will use this game with to teach strategy a little later in the year.  Last week, I wrote about a few ways to use Battleship to teach math.  Here are ways to use Battleship to teach literacy.

1. Find the Vocabulary Word – Assign each ship a vocabulary or spelling word.  Then, let students “hide” the ships from each other (or hide them from the class).  When students get a “hit” they find out the letter they hit.  If the students can guess the word, they can sink the ship.





2. Battle Stories – Do you have a class of boys?  Would they like to write about their “battle”?  My class of boys is constantly writing about attacking zombies, so I think they would love this.  (Not that the girls wouldn’t, but you know…) Let them keep track of the moves (hits & misses) while they play through a game.  Then, have them use those moves to write the story of what happened, adding things like “My submarine shot a bomb and sunk his battleship, sending it up in flames!”.








I hope some of these suggestions will allow you to use Battleship in a new, interesting way in your classrooms.  Have a game you’d like to see spotlighted next week?  Post a suggestion on our Facebook fan page, or leave me a comment here.  Keep playing games and watch your kids learn!


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