|Blokus review (more math than science, but still)
||[Apr. 1st, 2009|10:27 pm]
|[||The mad scientist is feeling
Months ago, we ordered Blokus for our k-5th after school program, and it finally arrived today. After inviting kids to play "my favoritest game ever", I had three opponents (k-1st) and a handful more audience members, attracted by the pretty, translucent colors and bizarre shapes.
The kids picked up the idea of the game quickly, and their strategy evolved within one round. Then, as they waited for their turn, they started to play with the pieces. They would try to fit all their extra pieces into one rectangle, experiment with building outwards, or formed letters and words. They recognize patterns created on the board--"a T next to a T!"--and categorized the polyominoes by number or overall shape. The best part was their attempts at simile. "This one looks like a W! Or an M! Or stairs!" They eventually lost interest in the game itself and instead made pixellated images with the plastic. When playing with friends, I had only approached Blokus polyominoes as tanagrams and as designed. But they opened the playing field up to a wide range of discovery.
It's a little pricier than games I've purchased with my own money ($30, as compared to $10-20 for SET, Quiddler or the Great Dalmudi), but I'd definitely get this for my own personal educator's shelf. If you have school funds to spend, it's a very worthwhile investment for its range appeal in age, ability and application.
Also, I found it online.
Possible lesson topics for Blokus:
- Four Color Theorem
- Geometry (rotation, shape names)
- Multiplication/area calculation
- How computers create images