Pat Hasch introduced her 7th grade geography class to Zulama in September, 2015. We are delighted to share how she creatively blended her geography lessons with Evolution of Games.
By Pat Hasch
My 7th grade geography class is not only studying the regular course materials, but is deeply involved in Evolution of Games. One of the main learning targets is: How does where you live affect how you live?
Using Zulama, students are able to understand the culture of many places by:
- reading the material,
- playing the many different games, and
- understanding how these games are a part of the heritage of the countries studied.
We have learned to play games, to modify them, replicate them, and appreciate the workmanship involved in creating the games. All this while learning history, geography, and about ourselves as learners and teachers.
In lesson 23 the students created a Parcheesi board. We read and discussed the lesson and assignment together. I gathered up boards for them to use to make a nice game to keep and be used for the future. As a class, the students made the scoring rubric by which they would be graded. They were actually tough on themselves, striving for near perfection.
We spent about one week of class time measuring, drawing and finalizing the product before we enjoyed playing the game. It was quite interesting to watch the students figure out how to do all the planning, measuring and drawing!
This has been their best work yet! They are all very proud of the finished product. Upon completion the students wrote a reflection about what they learned. They have really stepped it up since the beginning of the Zulama course.
By Christian St. Hilaire, 7th grade student, Oak Hill Middle School
The module on India was fascinating. I was able to retain the information better by connecting with games that I’m connected with. By showing games like Parcheesi and Chess, I was able to learn in a fun and interactive way. That is why I personally love the Zulama program. The India unit however struck my interest more than usual.
I was able to learn about ancient India by making the presentation on the Gupta Empire. It allowed me to get a basis, then move on studying. I learned so many things that I would have never learned if it wasn’t for Zulama. Being a fan of math, it was really interesting to learn that the very fundamentals of math came from the same time and place my favorite board game, Chess, was made.
The discussion on Chess helped me open up and learn about the game further. By being able to express my thoughts I was more motivated to learn and study it. Then I was able to reread and understand the section better.
Making the Parcheesi gameboard allowed me to understand more about the game itself, as well as its background. It helped me further my understanding of the Gupta Empire, and India as a whole. During the process, I had to work hard to understand how these people felt. First, I had to draw my lines precisely with a pencil. Then I had to fill them in with a permanent marker. Then I colored the spaces correctly and precisely. The pieces were provided, so I didn’t have to worry. It was a rough process that took a bit of time, but it is one that I could be proud of.
In conclusion, Zulama is an amazing way to teach kids history in a fun and interactive way. Zulama is one of the best programs that I have ever been taught on. I feel very privileged to be able to use it on a daily basis.