Monday, February 4, 2013

“It’s a game and a history lesson all wrapped up in one”

Mark Brady, a teacher at Horace Mann Middle School, uses a board game to help with teaching history.
“We can’t bring them back to Mesopotamia, Egypt or Greece, but this (Catan) brings it alive,” Brady said. “One student was so frustrated because he was winning at one point, and the other kids froze him out and wouldn’t trade with him. He said flat out, ‘I now understand why people go to war." 
Brady pitched the idea to administrators with help from Tricia Metrick, a science teacher. A grant from the Franklin Education Foundation, a community group that raises money for teachers, purchased the games for classes in sixth, seventh and eighth grade. 
Mark the experiment as a success, says Robert Vacca, who teaches eighth-grade world history. Vacca observed one of Brady’s classes and saw immediately that Catan was connecting with students in a way that a textbook never could. 
“The kids don’t even realize they’re learning,” he said. “It brings the curriculum to life and, in the process, brings their learning to a higher level. They have to analyze and interpret situations, and, really, that’s what history is all about."

Read more: Franklin educator uses board game to teach historical lessons - Franklin, MA - Wicked Local Franklin

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