Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Good Old Game of Monopoly

Today in my classroom, we played Junior Monopoly as part of our tuning- in activity for the Unit of Inquiry on trade. Twenty 7-year-olds were divided into four groups. We stuck the game board with blu-tack on the blackboard. Each team named itself and picked its colour. I wish you were there to see the excitement of the class as we were rolling the die, buying and selling the services, picking out the chance cards and dealing with money!

Apart from the fun factor involved in this game, let’s analyze the various Math concepts that can smoothly be reinforced through it. As it involves the use of money the real life application of addition, subtraction, greater than/less than, skip counting and combination can be brought about. The students were trying to add up their money of different denominations to pay the other teams. Some said they wanted to give 5 bills of 1 pound, some said we could give 1 bill of 5 pounds etc. to make up the sum of 5.  As they tried adding up their money, they used skip counting, number grid and other strategies to figure out their total. Also, the concept of different currencies came about. Since the currency of the game was pounds, we compared it to rupee and the students understood how different currencies have different value.

Apart from the Math concepts, games like Monopoly work on children’s social skills. Children get an opportunity to practice cooperation, teamwork, resolving conflicts, taking on different roles and taking turns.

Parents and teachers, don’t underestimate the educational and developmental significance of board games. If you don’t have them at home or in your classrooms, please get them and start playing with the children. And remember to play with them for the first few times and then they can be left alone to practice their skills.

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