Ideas Index

"Louisiana Mind-Field Game"

Greg English
Calcasieu Parish La. History Teacher

This outdoors game board works for any subject, any grade level. Once painted, many classes can use it on those nice days you would rather be outside.

FIRST: Create a 'mind-field' game out on an old basketball court outside your classroom. Paint the game board with lines forming 100 squares - a 10x10 'board'. Each square should be about 24" x 24". Make one side the starting side.

SECOND: On index cards letter one card each in marker: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 1B, 2B, 3B...thru 6E.

THIRD: Have the kids divide up into teams of five and give everyone a letter and number - 1A thru however many kids you have (Team A has 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, then the next team has 1B, 2B... until all teams are numbered. Try to keep the teams as balanced as possible.

FOURTH: Now ask team member '1A' a question. If they get it right they step onto a square on the starting side of the game board. Hopefully not one that has a 'landmine', 'trap', 'swamp', or 'quicksand' in it. (I keep a diagram in my hands of the grid and where mines/traps/swamp/quicksand (whatever you want to call them) are located.)

FIFTH: Then ask '1B" a question - get it right they step into the grid. Wrong answers mean you don't move. I go on to 1C, 1D, 1E, (if you have that many). Then on to 2A, 2B, 2C, etc. The same thing happens, get it right, move onto the board, miss and stay put. (I know you are thinking, "But you only have 10 starting squares and what if you have 25 kids? Simple, not all kids will get the answers right, plus if there is no square to move to, you can't move.) Players may begin in any square on the starting side. Players may move in any direction - I've never had one more backwards.

SIXTH: To win the bonus points they are playing for, a team must be the first to have at least two members make it to the opposite side of the game board and have all other members at least on the game board. This means everyone got at least one question right. Any cheating - giving teammates the answers results in the *leading player* of that team being sent back off the game board on the starting side.

SEVENTH: Stepping on one of four or five mines sends a player back. Not only must they get answers right but remember where the mines are.

Louisiana Difference website copyright 2001 Greg English