How do you teach middle school students to dissect a book? To dig into the plot? To define the roles of the characters? And to look for themes?
Some teachers would assign a book report, some a basic Q & A sheet. However, in Mrs. Schmidtbauer’s class, the seventh graders were given a different kind of assignment that challenged them to not only consider the basic elements of their book but how to creatively share the theme of the story with others.
Each of the seventh-grade students read a book of their choosing and were given a month to design a board game based on their book. They had to create all the materials needed to play the game, along with an instruction sheet that would allow others to play the game without the creator’s guidance.
Mrs. Schmidtbauer (our middle school language arts and literature teacher) has saved other students’ board games over the years, so before digging into the assignment, the students had the chance to play board games from previous years to see how other students had completed the project.
As the students turned in their completed projects, the class broke into groups and took turns explaining their board games and how to play them. Each group then had time to play their creations and showcase their creative thinking!