Karen Smith
Rose Ann Shepherd
Don MacArthur


click here for printable version

Instructional Objective

Students will be able to select the best environmental choice as a solution to various proposed situations / predicaments. Students will develop critical thinking skills by identifying characteristics and interdependencies of the forest habitat.

Learners and Context of Use

The game is designed primarily for middle-school through high-school students, whose ages range from 12 to 18 years, who reside in San Diego County. It is best suited for use in social studies and science classes, and is intended for one-time use to reinforce the subject matter taught in these classes.

Prior to game play, students will receive instruction related to the content. Ideally, the game will be followed up by some type of evaluation assignment such as an essay, quiz or worksheet.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is to demonstrate wise use of and respect for the Cleveland National Forest by obtaining as many environmental points as possible. Another object of the game is to visit as many of the six major points of interest as possible.

Game Materials

  • game board (click here for example)
  • six colored playing pieces
  • six-sided die
  • one box of question cards
  • one box of event cards
  • environmental point tokens
  • pollution point tokens
  • six sets of colored point of interest tokens
  • instruction card (click here for example)

Time Required

Recommended minimum playing times:

2 Players - 30 minutes
4 Players - 45 minutes
6 Players - 60 minutes

The Rules

• For 2 to 6 players.

How to win: The player with the greatest number of Environmental points at the end of the allotted time wins!

Before play begins:

Each player selects a role from the six possible:

  • Red - Hiker
  • Green - Hunter
  • Purple - Photographer
  • White - Bird-watcher
  • Blue - Angler
  • Yellow- Naturalist

Each player then places his/her piece on the Point of Interest on the game board whose color corresponds to the color of the playing piece .

Each player will roll the die once.

The player with the highest roll will start play.

  • A turn consists of a player rolling the die once, and moving the corresponding number of spaces on the board. (Players can move in any direction, as long as they stay on the path.)

  • Each space on the paths is designated as either Question? or Event!.

  • The player to the right of Player 1, will draw a card from the appropriate box, and read.the card aloud.

  • For Question? cards - Player 1 will choose a response from the four given. The different responses are worth different point values.

  • For Event! cards-Player 1 will need to take the action specified on the card, or simply accrue or lose points based on the event in the card.

  • The player will collect point tokens based on the response to the Question or Event.

  • Each colored point of interest (POI) counts as one space. When encountered, a player simply enters, collects the appropriate POI token, and returns to the path.

  • Play will continue in a clockwise fashion.

  • Players who collect all six POI tokens during the course of play will automatically receive 50 bonus environmental points. (Each player starts at a particular Point of Interest - this counts towards the Bonus as a visit.)


At the end of the predetermined game length (see Time Required):

  • Each player will count his/her Environmental points (including any bonus points), and subtract the.number of Pollution points from the total.
  • The player with the highest point total wins the game.

Challenge round:

  • Each question falls under one of six topics (wildlife, plant identification, history of the park, pollution, web of life and water cycle). For a more challenging round, each player must guess under which topic the question falls in addition to providing the correct response to the question in order to gain any points.

Design Process

The process we used in order to develop our idea of the Cleveland National Forest Board Game was the "First Steps in Board Game Design" process, which included a content analysis, chunking the content elements, aligning the elements into related patterns and structures, and finally drafting the initial concept of the game.

Our first thoughts were quite varied. In order to gain background information, as well as to assess the needs of our audience, one of our teammates presented the idea to her class, who would be the initial audience of the game. This gave us useful insight into the content that our game should include. Some initial ideas that we eventually decided against were the characters in the game. We had initially intended to include a variety of characters, ranging from hikers and campers, to rabbits and wolves. After further discussion, we decided that in order to maintain some consistency among the game objective, all characters would be humans.

One game that we found that helped us reach this decision was a game on Yellowstone National Park. This game was different in that it attempted only to teach migratory patterns and ecological perspectives of migratory sheep and elk. In spite of this, the game helped us to realize the need for consistency among play characters.

The "First Steps in Board Game Design" was incredibly helpful in developing the initial draft of the board game. We are anxious to develop a playable prototype so that we can gain further insight into what is effective in the game, and what is not.


updated 19-October-2002 by Don MacArthur