Playing Board Games Produced Excitement About Reading at Bethel Middle School

One student's board game inspired another to say, "This is inspiring me to maybe read the book."


"This is inspiring me to maybe read the book," said 11 year old Bethel Middle School sixth grade student Malcolm Williams, about another student's game board project named "Around the World in Eighty Days."

Game boards are very popular at Bethel Middle School, and they are inspiring students to read more books.

On June 5, Mr. Salvador's sixth grade Reading class of 11 and 12 year old students enjoyed a day they had been looking forward to for a long time. They were allowed to play games on game boards they had created, based on a novel they recently chose and read.  

The game board theme had to relate to the main theme of the book in some way. Students could use the title of their book for their game board, or create their own game board name. 

The project took several weeks to produce, but created a newfound excitement about reading. Many students were now curious about reading the books their fellow students had based their game board design and theme.

Students eagerly described the rules of their games, along with book themes, too. 

Daniel Sorensics described his "Around the World in Eighty Days" game and said, "Roll the dice to travel around the world from London, because the main character started out in London. You answer questions about the book to move playing pieces, or if you land on an event square, you have to do what the card says, like purchase clothes for India."

About ten game boards were set up after the class, and students walked around the room and chose the games they wanted to play.

Stephanie Bierce said she liked the game board designs very much. "They are very detailed and interesting and they help me with what kind of book I want to read."

Lucy Grant created a game board entitled "From the Mixed Up Files of Miss Basil."  She said,  "This is the same name as the book title of the novel by E. Frankweiler."  Grant added, "The object of the game is to answer the final question in the game and open Miss Frankweiler's cabinet."  Grant then demonstrated how a triangular black box in the center of her game board opens.

"The Hunger Games" was the name of Julianna Perotta's game board, from the novel of the same name.  Perotta said, "Go through the obstacle course and become the victor."  This was the most popular book theme of the project assignment.  "The Hunger Games" book became a very popular book in a book series for this age group, after the Harry Potter series ended. 

Some themes were described very simply.  "Roll dice, answer questions about the book, and see who gets to the end first," said Zach Perry about his "Hunger Games" board game. 

The smiles, laughter and excitement of the students was evident as they played the games and talked about details of the stories in the books.  

Many students said this project inspired them to design other game boards, too.


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