This Civic Spotlight is by Josh Lafair, one of the creators of Mapmaker: the Gerrymandering Game. If you have a story to tell, visit the submissions page and let us know. My name is Josh Lafair, and I’m a senior in high school. I enjoy board games, politics, and sports. I dislike brussel sprouts and […]
Using games to teach civics can be a great way to make your social studies class more exciting. Not all games are created equal, and some are just fancy ways to test repetition and recall.
But some games do a good job of making abstract ideas for accessible for students and scaffolding how to think about tough concepts. Good games combine exciting(ish) gameplay, motivating game mechanics, and important concepts. Some good examples are the ReDistricting Game, as well as some iCivics offerings like Do I Have a Right and Race to Ratify.
Game based learning isn’t just about video games, either. You can find some quality board games and card games that teach civics concepts – like Politicraft and Mapmaker: the Gerrymandering Game.
All of these games are ways to simulate democratic processes for your students, which is one of the proven practices for improving civics education.
Check out the collection of posts below for some reviews, suggestions, and news about teaching civics with games.
Gerrymandering is a complex and abstract topic, but it is extremely relevant if you’re learning about government and politics today. Thankfully, there are some great resources out there to help you teach gerrymandering, like Mapmaker: the Gerrymandering Game. Mapmaker: the Gerrymandering Game is great strategy game, and it’s based on the concepts involved in gerrymandering. […]
Mapmaker: The Gerrymandering Game is a simple, thoughtful, and strategic board game. It also happens to be educational, too, but that’s just an added benefit. I saw this game on the shelf at the mall a few weeks ago, and it immediately caught my eye. It got me thinking about what other board games are […]
Note: This review is not yet complete. This post will be updated with more information, once I’ve had a chance to play it through a few times and thoroughly review it. The Contender is a great party game to play with your friends. Topically, it’s a civics game patterned after Presidential debates. Conceptually, it’s a […]
One great way to make learning civics more fun is to use game based learning. Here’s a list of eight civics board games about government and politics – some of which make great classroom tools – that could help you do that. I’ll run through the list of each of the eight games with a […]
iCivics is a collection of civics related games to use with your class. Some are great, while some are not so great. They recently released a new game, and we’ll take a look at it today in this Race to Ratify review. Race to Ratify (click here to see the game on iCivics) is a […]
Every week, I take a moment to look back over the week’s news and op-eds related to civics education to see what’s going on around the country (and sometimes the world). This week was a slow news week, so it’s going to be a quick recap. Let’s dive in and see what’s going on. Another […]
This week in civics news, there was the typical collection of op-eds in favor of more civics education as well as citizenship testing. But there were two interesting bits of news as well – one involving a kid governor and another involving a new Spanish resource for teaching civics. So read on to find out […]
Gerrymandering is a critical concept in civics and government, and as a social studies teacher you may be looking for a gerrymandering game to help teach it. It’s a simple concept to define. It’s the process by which a group of political officials manipulate the drawing of an election map in a way that benefits […]