The author articulates reasons why teachers should use games in the classroom. I found one of the reasons interesting: Students develop positive memories and connections with the subject matter itself because they were experiencing positive emotions (fun, happiness) while playing the game that taught the subject matter.
In 2009, a Minnesota high school social studies teacher became frustrated with his students' lack of interest, and as a remedy, developed a game called Fantasy Geopolitics. The game is modeled after fantasy football. Other schools have also begun using the game to help students become more knowledgeable about other countries and interested in global politics. Eric Nelson, the teacher, believes that gamification is the key to the game's success.
An eighth grade math teacher explains how First in Math helps students improve basic math skills so that they can move on to more complex math concepts much sooner. The article also explains that a school in Boston is finding that competition between students on games such as First in Math seems to be positively affecting their motivation and achievement.
Actual Supreme Court cases are presented, requiring the student to decide the verdict based on the applicable Constitutional right. This is a very well-designed game, and will spark some great classroom discussions.
This is an actual classroom game, not an online game. Students divide into three groups: President, Congress, and Courts. The teacher announces an unconstitutional "power grab" situation, such as "The President Declares War on China." The group who can check this power grab yells "Check!" They must find and share proof that the Constitution forbids the power grab.
This game asks students to choose which state to represent at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Students are given important background knowledge about the Constitutional Convention and what each state hoped to achieve. This will be most appropriate for high school students.
In this simple game, students drag and drop constitional rights and amendments into one of four categories: Preamble, Articles I-VII, Bill of Rights, or Additional Amendments. This game isn't bad, but it isn't quite as interesting or well-animated as the others in this collection. I'd use it as a backup plan.
This is a fun quiz that asks you several questions to discover which founding father you're most like. One of the questions is "After a long day, you like to relax and unwind by ______." When I took the quiz, I learned that I'm most like Alexander Hamilton. Your students will enjoy this game for learning about the authors of the Constitution.
Another ICivics game to help students learn about their constitutional rights, this version requires students to choose a constitutional right that matches their client's problem. For instance, a client wore a t-shirt that said "The President Stinks!" Is there a constitutional right involved here? The case progresses to court, where you win the case, or lose.
In this game, the student "walks" through a virtual town called Freeville, stopping at certain sites to choose from a list of constitutional rights being practiced at that location or by that person. For instance, one of the sites is a church. What right is being exercised? Freedom of religion is one of the choices. This game is fairly easy, and wouldn't be challenging to older students. This would probably work best with younger students.
This is a wonderful game that works really well with middle-schoolers, and would probably be a hit with high-schoolers, as well. Students play as attorneys whose clients walk into their virtual offices with questions that deal with the Bill of Rights. The student chooses whether or not the client "has a right" in that scenario, and then the case progresses to court. The games is on ICivics, but accounts are free.