The Survival Game
Social Studies Activity
Students stretch their imaginations as they plan a survival game
that includes both dangers and opportunities for survival. As they
play the game, they test their luck and ingenuity.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Miscellaneous board games
- Reference sources on different environments, such as the
desert, mountains, rain forests, the Arctic, and oceans.
- Poster board or other fairly rigid material for the game board
- Index cards or oak tag for the decks of cards
- Drawing materials, including colored inks or felt-tip markers
- Recyclable objects (such as buttons, bottle caps, etc.) for
- Dice and/or spinners
- Copies of The Survival Game
WHAT TO DO
- Display some board games and ask students to comment on the
similarities and differences among the games. Similarities would
include a beginning position, a path along which the players move
their pieces, some means of moving ahead (dice, spinner), and
various challenges and chances as the players move their
pieces. The differences would lie in the nature of those challenges
- Divide children into four groups and distribute copies of
Survival Game. Read with students and then ask each group to
choose an environment as the setting for their game. Suggest that
each group choose a different environment.
- Suggest that students brainstorm what they will include in
their game and make a preliminary version of it using scrap
paper. Each team should also agree on and make an official set
of rules so that others can play the game.
- Encourage students to play through the game a few times to
test it, making any necessary changes and improvements.
- Students are now ready to create the actual game board and
accompanying decks of cards.
- To make the games even more challenging, suggest that each
student try his or her survival skills in all four environments.
Post a chart with all the students' names and a column for each
game. Whenever students successfully survive an environment,
they check it off on the list and go on to another one.
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