My room is filled with Lightning Thief board game projects, and the copier is set to print off 62 Greek myth modernizations that the kids wrote, so let's just say that my Christmas break is going to be spent doing a lot of grading! (And also lots of cookie baking, decorating, and eating.....!) These board game projects are some of my all time favorites because they cover so much all within one small project:
I can assess if the kids understood the most important details of the book by asking them to write only 2 questions from each chapter -- now they have to decide which portion of the text is really the most important and which bits are just fluff!
I can assess if the kids understood the finer bits of characterization -- because as they pointed out, the descriptions aren't super easy to locate in the text! So how can they use other information to INFER about the characters?
I can assess an understanding of plot, setting, and characters all through the different components of the game - decorating the board, creating spaces that move characters forward and backward while using events from the book, choosing characters to turn into pawns....
but maybe my favorite part comes at the end when we all get to sit down and play the games. Here the kids can assess their own games and the games that their peers made - and they start to realize what a vague question looks like, they have to locate text evidence to support the answer they used on the card and prove their friend wrong, and they have to justify their character pieces and descriptions -- are you SURE that Percy looks like that? How do you know?!
For the kids, this feels like a big project that's worth a lot of points, but hopefully they can also see that it's a fun, creative way to assess their knowledge of the book and their understanding of the skills we have used all quarter....without taking a lengthy test or writing an essay!
We'll do another board game project in the spring about Harry Potter, and after that we're hoping to have a board game night where we can showcase all of the many games the kids have made this year and get our parents and families to play them!
Until then, breathe a sigh of relief that this project is over, and that you've survived half of 6th grade. The best is yet to come! :)