Women's History Game

Cheryl Keeney

Cheryl Keeney is an instructional designer at Courseware, Anderson Consulting. She enjoys swimming, jogging, snow skiing, books, and music. She also volunteers at the Big Sister League and has a little sister.

Instructional Objective The learner will be able to match famous women in American History with their historical importance (politics, labor, author, social work, or special interest).

Learners/Context The learners are high school history students and can be both male and female. The card game is played in the classroom as an extra activity to the regular history curriculum.

Rationale This card game will give students the opportunity to group women together by time period and to then match them with their area of recognition. It also will give them the opportunity to see the importance of different time periods to women's issues.

Rules Four can play. One person will be the dealer, and it is his or her job to lay down a face card. The dealer will have a fact sheet that gives the noteworthy historical information for each woman.

Each of the other three players are given decks of equal fact cards. Players choose between blue, green or yellow. As the dealer lays down a face card, the players must lay down the appropriate fact card. Each player must lay down a card whether they are sure of their response or not.

After each player lays down a fact card, the dealer notes on a score sheet who won the round. There can be more than one winner for each turn and possibly there may be more than one winner for the game. The first person to lay down a fact card correctly wins that round and gains three points. At games end the total points are added up and the person with the largest score wins. To keep track of who was first, the first person to lay the correct card on top of the face card wins that round.

Card Design

Deck Design The deck consists of 40 face cards and 40 fact cards. The face cards show the portrait and name. The fact cards contain historical information. In the upper left hand corner of the fact card, is a color coded letter noting specific area or category the woman fits in.



SW=social work


SI=special interest.

The lower right hand corner contains the era of the historical achievements. The color coding helps the dealer determine who was the first one to lay down the correct fact card.

Design Process I had originally thought the cards would all be alike, a fact card with the portrait included. The players would match categories (three each) or the era. As this seemed to be too much information for one card, I thought of having the fact cards and the face cards separate. The players could match faces with facts, but then there would have to have more than one fact for each woman. A successful match would be one face card with two facts cards or as before three categories would be a match. But these didn't seem to aid learning as the players would only be matching letters or pictures. The current version asks the players to match the players to actually put a face with an achievement. The element of first one down adds excitement and competition.