Erika Lin Beuerlein
Michael Montgomery
Tien Thai


| Instructional Objectives | Learners & Context | Object of Game | Game Materials |

| Time Required | Rules | Design Process |


Instructional Objectives

Kindergarten

  • Reading
    1.0 Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development
    Decoding and Word Recognition
    1.15 Read simple one-syllable and high-frequency words (i.e., sight words).
  • Listening and Speaking
    1.0. Listening and Speaking Strategies
    Comprehension
    1.1 Understand and follow one-and two-step oral directions.
    2.0 Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
    2.1 Describe people, places, things (e.g., size, color, shape), locations, and actions.
  • Measurement and Geometry
    2.0 Students identify common objects in their environment and describe the geometric features:
    2.1 Identify and describe common geometric objects (e.g., circle, triangle, square, rectangle, cube, sphere, cone).
    2.2 Compare familiar plane and solid objects by common attributes (e.g., position, shape, size, roundness, number of corners).

First Grade

  • Reading
    1.0 Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development
    Concepts About Print
    1.1 Match oral words to printed words.
    1.2 Identify the title and author of a reading selection.
    1.3 Identify letters, words, and sentences.
    Decoding and Word Recognition
    1.10 Generate the sounds from all the letters and letter patterns, including consonant blends and long-and short-vowel patterns (i.e., phonograms), and blend those sounds into recognizable words.
    1.11 Read common, irregular sight words (e.g., the, have, said, come, give, of).
    2.0 Reading Comprehension
    Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
    2.3 Follow one-step written instructions.
  • Listening and Speaking
    1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies
    Comprehension
    1.3 Give, restate, and follow simple two-step directions.
  • Measurement and Geometry
    2.0 Students identify common geometric figures, classify them by common attributes, and describe their relative position or their location in space:
    2.1 Identify, describe, and compare triangles, rectangles, squares, and circles, including the faces of three-dimensional objects.
    2.2 Classify familiar plane and solid objects by common attributes, such as color, position, shape, size, roundness, or number of corners, and explain which attributes are being used for classification.
    2.3 Give and follow directions about location.
    2.4 Arrange and describe objects in space by proximity, position, and direction (e.g., near, far, below, above, up, down, behind, in front of, next to, left or right of).

Second Grade

  • Reading
    2.0 Reading Comprehension
    2.8 Follow two-step written instructions.
  • Listening and Speaking
    1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies
    Comprehension
    1.3 Give, restate, and follow simple two-step directions.
    Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication
    1.5 Use descriptive words when speaking about people, places, things, and events.


Learners & Context of Use

Across the Board™ is designed for kindergarten, first, and second grade students. Across the Board™ can be used in a classroom, with a teacher or older student monitoring play, or can be played at home. In a school setting, it is recommended more than one game board be used to accomodate more than four players.

The design of Across the Board™ permits it to be used again and again! Each game changes with the shuffle of the cards and the placement of the pieces—there are several paths Across the Board™.

Through active play, children learn directional vocabulary (forward, backwards, right, left, over, under) they will apply daily.


Object of the Game

The Object of the game is for both team members to get Across the Board™!


Game Materials

Across the Board™

  • 1 game board - a 5x5 square on which players move
             
             
             
             
             
  • deck of directional cards - a deck of cards that provide the instruction for action

  • 2 blocks - a black square that serves as a no man's land—no one may step there
         
  • 2 arrows - a blue or green triangle that points players in a set direction


Time Required

It takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete a game of Across the Board™.


The Rules
Adult Version |Child Version

Adult Version
Setting Up:

  1. Players will divide into two (2) teams of two (2) people and designate a card reader.
  2. Each group will be given an obstacle piece (black square) and place it on the board wherever they choose. Black squares are no man's lands-no one may step there.
  3. Players from group "A" will line up along one side of the board, with no more than one person in a square.
  4. Players from group "B" will line up along the opposite side of the board, with no more than one person in a square.
  5. The two groups will start out facing each other.
  6. Card reader shuffles the cards.
  7. Youngest players on each team go first.

Game Play:

  1. Card reader picks a card from the deck and reads the direction to players A1 and B1.
  2. Players A1 and B1 follow the direction on the card.
  3. Card reader picks a card from the deck and reads the direction to players A2 and B2.
  4. Players A2 and B2 follow the direction on the card.
  5. This is repeated until all players get Across the Board™!

Playing Guidelines:

  • Only one player, per team, may move at a time.
  • One person from each team must move on each turn.
  • Moves may only be made forward and backward or side-to-side. No diagonal movement.
  • All moves must take place in another square.
  • Moving over means player "leap frogs" over another player.
  • Moving under means player crawls between another player's legs.
  • Players work as a group helping each of their team members to move across the board.
  • Players may not step onto black squares.
  • If a player cannot go (i.e.: he/she will step off the board or onto a black square), then the player may pass to his/her teammate.
  • To make the game more challenging, give each team an arrow piece. The team places it on any square on the board. When a player lands on an arrow square, he/she must move in the direction of that arrow during his/her turn.

Child Version
Everyone:

  1. Make 2 teams. Only 2 people can be on a team.
  2. Each team gets 1 black square.
  3. Pick a card reader.

Teams:

  1. Put the 2 black squares in any space on the board.
  2. You cannot step in a black square.
  3. Line up on the sides of the board.
  4. Youngest players go first.
  5. Listen to the card reader.
  6. Follow the directions.
  7. 1 person from each team must move on each turn. Only 1 person can be in a square.
  8. If you cannot move, pass. Your teammate will move for you.
  9. Keep listening and moving until you and your teammate get Across the Board™!

Card Reader:

  1. Shuffle the cards.
  2. Draw a card. Read it.
  3. Repeat until a team gets Across the Board™!


Design Process

We began with the idea of a typical race style board game. To get from one space to another players would have to perform a stunt (e.g. jump on you right leg five times). That proved to complicated for our intended audience and we felt as though the focus would not be on learning directional vocabulary.

A colleague mentioned our game should resemble Twister™, and we extracted the idea of making the players the "playing pieces" and began to figure out a way for the floor to be the board.

Across the Board™ was born!

After we finished designing the 5x5 square vinyl playing board and direction cards, we wanted the game to be even more changeable and unpredictable, so we added three obstacle pieces: the blocks, arrows, and cages. After the first round of pilot testing, we 86'd the cages because the board was too cluttered. We also revised the cards, adding more "move forward" cards and removing ambiguous directions such as "move around the nearest player."

When pilot tested with a class of first grade students, the arrows were not used because they proved too confusing for the players. They became an optional piece to make the game more challenging for older players.

The success of Across the Board™ is due to a lot of dialogue between the designers, multiple trials, and the humilty to revise, revise, revise.

 


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Last updated October 21, 2002