Research-based guidance and classroom activities for teachers of mathematics

Design a Board Game

This task from the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education is available to download from the National STEM Centre eLibrary.

Pupils work in small groups to design and produce their own board games, which are then played and evaluated by others in the class.

Pupils will inevitably spend a lot of time creating their games and much of that effort will not seem to be tightly focussed on mathematical issues. On the other hand, when they build their own games, it is likely they will have to model situations using probabilities.

For example, pupils might not only need to create scenarios in which certain outcomes happen ‘on average’, but also with a reasonable level of ‘spread’, so that the game contains suitable degrees of excitement. Such consideration may not happen naturally and teacher intervention will play a crucial role.

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