I recently bought a new card game that my flatmates just adore playing. Sometimes I bring it to school and let my tutor class play it, and two of them have even gone and bought themselves a set to play at home. It doesn't take too long to play a game, somewhere between 15-30 minutes, and can be played with up to 5 players. More than that and it doesn't really work.
Said game shall remain unnamed, but it was so popular in my tutor class that I wondered - could it be adapted into a study game to help students? I thought about it for a while and thought it would fit well in Year 13 for Human Evolution, to help students become more familiar with key hominids and their features and tool cultures etc. Then I set about making them.
The cards look like this before you print and laminate them:
and like this when you're playing with them:
The story is fairly simple.
Each player is a museum curator out to collect full sets of species to display in their museum. As a museum curator you can charge the other players entry fees to come and see your species collections, or to come and attend conferences at your museum too. You can also add famous speakers to present about your collections, to charge a higher entry fee. You can go on expeditions into Africa to see if you can find more species or even tools for your collections. Sometimes your museum is robbed, or a pickpocket steals an item from one of your collections. You need to have enough money on the table to pay to visit your friends' museums, otherwise you'll have to pay them with items or species from your collections, argh!!!
Whenever a species collection card is put down students have to read the name of the species and the piece of information about them out loud. Whenever someone steals from another player and adds it to their own collection, they have to read it out loud again too! This is key, otherwise you're just playing cards and not really learning. You could also quiz them at the end of it.
Here's a photo of us playing the game on our last day together for the year. Sela has just told John she's going to rob his museum!
Happy to be playing :)
Overall the card game took me about 3-4 hours to print, cut out each card, stick it to a piece of cardboard, cut it out again, laminate them all and cut them out for a THIRD TIME! Sigh. But if you're willing to invest that time then you'll have a card set to last you forever and the kids love playing it!
Feel free to access it in my Google Drive and make yourself a copy.
The full rules are in the doc. If you enjoy playing it with your students, maybe you can go out and buy the real game to play with your family and friends, if you can work out what it is :)