Guestwriter: Joani Enfield
While exploring The Game of Things, this is what I discovered while unboxing and reviewing the box and its contents, playing the game with others, and using it in my classroom with students.
First, during the initial unboxing phase of my investigation, I found that the plastic tray is not necessary inside the box, due to the fact that it catches the lid in the middle and makes it hard to push it shut. Also, it is not deep enough to hold the amount of cards that are in the game. I felt like if you there was a “T” shaped piece inside it would allow more room to hold the cards, so that they do not slide all over the box when carrying it around. This would also make it easier to get the cards in and out of the box. Another change that I would like to see is to label the bottom of the box to show the where the pile of cards go and possibly where the discarded pile of cards could go when finished with them. Another thing that could be included in the box would be a one minute sand timer; this would help people from taking too long on their comments, as well as allow for an easier time of playing the Alternate Gameplay version.
Next, while playing the game with other people, we discussed a few changes that could be made to the game as well. Here are a few of the suggested changes: less cards to take up less space, this could be done by putting multiple prompts on a card using bullet points, letters, or color coding to designate the different prompts. It might be helpful if different parts of the rules were color coded, due to the fact that even I missed the rule that if the guesser is correct they get to keep guessing until they are wrong. I like the Alternate Gameplay from the website so that two people can play easier if you do not have a big group. These instructions should be added to the box and not just the website, just in case someone does not have access to a computer. In addition, another way to save some space in the box would be to print the directions on the underside of the lid or the bottom of the box.
Finally, this is what and how I could change the game for use in a classroom setting. I used this in my classroom of six and seven year old first graders, I read one response to them and place it on the document camera for them to reread by themselves. I had them write a response on a post it note and fold it and place it in a container. I then pulled out one response from each team and read it to the whole class and allowed the opposite team to try to guess who wrote it. I gave them three guesses, if one person was correct then there team got a point, if they were stumped then the writer got the point. Another way it could be used in the classroom is to use it as a daily journal response in which the students would be expected to write a complete sentence as the response. This could be used as a getting to know you game at the beginning of the year, when you get new students, when you need a brain break, or just as a way to line kids up when going somewhere throughout the day.
In conclusion, this is what I discovered while unboxing and reviewing the box and its contents, playing the game with others, and using it in my classroom with students. I enjoyed the game and would love to continue using it with my students and friends.