Photojournalists Through Time

by Stephanie R. Stout

Stephanie is working on her master's degree in educational technology. She is currently working for a government contract company as a scriptwriter. She enjoys creative writing and studying art history.

Instructional Objective Students will be able to :

* match historical events with the people involved,

* match historical figures to descriptions,

* match headlines to newspaper stories,

* match a political concept to an example of that concept,

* use an index to find information in a book.


Learners/Context The target learner group is eighth grade history students. These students are in a U.S. History class. The students may need remedial work. This game will help motivate them to find information. This game can also be amended to suit more advanced students who would play the game as a reward.


Rationale The name of the game is Photojournalists Through Time. The content of the game is the political figures, events and concepts from the 1950's to the present. This game is designed to get students interested in reading the newspaper and their history books. Students will play photo-journalists who try to piece together newspapers from different decades.


Equipment The game consists of a board, imitation newspapers, headline and picture cards, LIBEL SUIT cards, trivia cards, an information book, an answer book, playing pieces, and dice.


Rules The game will vary in length depending on the number of players. The more players, the shorter the game will be. With four players, the game will last about 45 to 50 minutes.

Object Students move around the board answering trivia questions. For every correct answer, they get a chance to pick a picture or a headline to complete their newspaper. The first student who fills in the squares on his or her newspaper wins.

Format The game is a combination of Trivial Pursuit and Concentration. Students collect colored pieces as in Trivial Pursuit. They choose cards as in Concentration. Only, instead of trying to match two cards, they try to match a card to the information they have in their newspaper. The game features the simple circuit pattern.

Game Playing Players move around the board, starting from any position. They roll the dice to move. If a player lands on a blue, peach, green, or magenta square, he or she answers a question from a trivia card. Each color stands for a different type of question. If the player answers correctly, the player may pick a card from the center of the board. The player picks a card the same color as the square. The player tries to match it to the newspaper they have. If it does not, the player places it back in the pile. Players try to avoid picking up LIBEL SUIT cards. If a player lands on a yellow square, he or she must follow the advice on the square.

Four is the optimum number of players. Two students can play the game but it will take longer. If more than four students want to play, they will have to divide into teams because there are only four playing pieces.

Board The board has twenty-two squares. There are two squares called, "Pick a Picture." If a player lands on either one of these squares, they can pick a picture without answering a trivia question. There are two squares labeled, "Go to Any Square." Players choose any square they want to go to. There is one square labeled, "Lose a Turn" and another square labeled, "Take Two Turns". There are four squares marked blue. These are the foreign affairs squares. Players answer questions about the subjects on the squares. There are four peach squares for political events. The four green squares are for American figures. The four magenta squares are for political concepts.

Imitation Newspapers There are different newspapers for each decade. The newspapers have headlines and pictures missing. The squares have color codings so players know which subject goes in the square. The newspaper contains brief description of events, concepts, American figures, and foreign affairs. Players match headlines to the political concept section and foreign affairs. Players match pictures to the American figures and political events. Each player must choose a different decade newspaper. Otherwise, students may be trying for the same pictures because pictures may fit more than one card in the decade they belong to.

Headline & Picture Cards The headline and picture cards are small cards with headline and pictures for the paper. They are colored on one side to make it easier to locate where they go. During play, the headline and picture cards will be face down on the middle of the board. Players pick up the cards and try to fit them on their newspapers.

LIBEL SUIT Cards Hidden in the headlines and picture cards are four LIBEL SUIT cards. If a player picks up one of these, he or she must give back one of their headlines or pictures. Another player will mix the piece into the card pile.

Trivia Cards There are four sets of trivia cards, one for each of the subjects. Students will pick a trivia card that is the same color as the square they landed on. The trivia on the cards is from history of the past 40 years. The cards have multiple-choice questions. One player reads the question to the other player who landed on the square.

Information Book The information book contains an outline of history for the past 40 years. American figures, political events, foreign affairs, and political concepts are in the outline. Each entry contains a description and a statement of significance. Players may use the information at any time The book contains an index of the important people, events, and concepts. Players use the index to locate information. Players can also read through the index before the start of the game. The answers are not obvious. Players will have to make some connections between the material.

Answer Book The answer book contains correct answer for each of the newspapers. Players verify each others wins.

Strategies One strategy for the players is to be very familiar with the index. Another strategy is to pay close attention to the headlines and pictures that other players are turning over. They may see a card they want to use.

Winning The first player who completes the newspaper wins.

Modifications By eliminating the information book, students can play the game at a more advanced level. To make the game easier, students can set out the LIBEL suit cards.


Design Process Originally, I designed this game to teach grade school children about sea life in different environments. The newspapers were pictures of different environments such as tropical and beach zones. The problem with this subject is students do not receive much information on sea-life in grade school. I would have to provide them with all the information in books. I thought about creating stories but this would make the game very complex. This would not fit along with the regular curriculum of students. I decided to design a game students would have some knowledge about. History is an interesting subject but most students in the eighth grade are not interested. They see it as very dry and boring. I chose current history so students could relate to it more.

In my first design, the board had a pathway with some squares touching the center. Players would try to get to these squares to pick a picture. This left me with nothing of substance to put in the other squares. They were a waste of time. Then, I modeled the board after Trivial Pursuit with the color coding. This gave the game organization and structure. Players now had goals. They knew they had to answer questions from each of the subjects. I also made the description on the newspapers fairly easy to figure out. I felt if students saw the newspapers and did not know any of the answers they would not be motivated to play. I added the "Pick a Picture" squares to give students a break from answering questions each time.

The color coding also simplified the process of collecting the pictures. I felt it would be too frustrating for the players to have to go through all the picture and headline cards in the pile. Because of the color coding, they could narrow down their search. When designing the headline cards, I decided not to put too much information on these cards. I felt it would make it too easy and students would be able to figure out how to play without having learning about history. I put the cards in the center face down to add excitement to the game. I copied the game Concentration. Students enjoy looking for the pictures in Concentration. They can watch other players when it is not their turn. This keeps them paying attention. I added the LIBEL SUIT cards last. I felt this would create suspense.

I did not want to ask short answer questions like those on the trivial pursuit cards. If a student did not have any idea, he or she would become easily frustrated. I chose short answer so they could think about each answer and try to decide which one made the most sense. I put information in the stem of the questions to get the student thinking about the subject. I made these questions more challenging because of all the information I was giving them.

Everyone who saw this game thought it was very difficult so I added the information book. I thought this would show students the benefits of using an index .

With newspapers I could create different facts about the same pictures. Originally, I wanted to use scenes but found I did not have much freedom. There were only so many pictures that could combine together in a scene. Many students enjoy writing for a school newspaper so it seemed suitable.

Major Playing Cards used with Photojournalists Through Time