Recently, my family found the game Cranium at a thrift store and decided to grab it, since we didn’t already own it. Wow, what a great game! If you’ve never played Cranium, it is the epitome of multiple intelligences in a game! Rather than just having players answer logic based questions, the questions are split into different categories. With the Creative Cat cards, you have to draw or sculpt something (sometimes with your eyes closed) in order to get your teammates to guess a clue. With the Data Head cards, you have factoid, true and false and multiple choice questions about a variety of topics. With the Word Worm cards, you have to unscramble words, fill in missing letters, spell difficult words and determine the meaning of vocabulary words. Finally, with the Star Performer cards, you act out famous or commonplace characters or hum out famous songs.
When my boys and I started playing, I realized how awesome this could be in the classroom! There are so many options – standard play, personalized versions, team challenges, the works. Here are the just a few possibilities:
1.) For older students (5th grade and up), standard play is a definite option and perfectly possible for a classroom setting, as you play on teams, and could easily split your class into 4 teams and play as a getting to know you or team building activity, or as an end of the day reward for good behavior.
2.) Give your students multiple intelligence surveys and split them into groups based on their results. Let these groups become your teams and have students play only the questions that match their intelligence.
3.) Split into your multiple intelligence teams, have students create their own questions for their intelligence. Then, have the entire class play with the student created questions.
4.) Choose a topic you have been studying and have students create a Cranium that is focused completely around the topic. Students could work within their intelligence or not – depending on your class makeup.
5.) Use Cranium questions as brain breaks and part of a management system. Pull a random card during a transition. The team that gets it right scores a point. Keep track of the points and reward the winning team at the end of each week.
How can you use Cranium in your classroom?