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Using Games to Learn About Biomes

As a cumulative project, they were tasked to create a board game
Grade 4 students designed board games to illustrate the knowledge they acquired during their recent IB PYP Unit of Inquiry ‘Sharing Our Planet’ where they examined the central idea that “the state of the Earth’s biomes is affected by change in climate.” 

Students researched how various animals and plants adapt to the climate, and how climate change affects the different biomes. As a cumulative project, they were tasked to create a board game that teaches the players about a biome or biomes of their choice. 

The games included tasks like hurdles or questions and students also had to come up with playing and set-up instructions as well as a persuasive pitch for the game. 

Rivka created a board game with multiple biomes, where each player needs to collect an item in each biome to finish. Whoever gets through all of the biomes first wins the game. 

“You have to get through the rainforest, tundra, marine and desert biome,” explained Rivka. “All the items players have to collect are specific to the biomes, like arctic hares, low growing shrubs, fish, clamshell and others.” 

Ainsley, Allie and Khaila all worked together on their board game titled “Biomes Extravaganza.” Players choose two animals (one from the grassland biome and one from the freshwater biome), then roll the dice and move around the board. On the dice, there are bonus challenges that must be completed. In certain spaces, there are mystery cards, fire spaces, water buckets and spinner squares. 

“I love the grasslands,” said Ainsley. “I like all the animals that live there, especially the tigers.”

As a way to entice others to play their game, the group wrote, “If you like Clue and The Game of Life, this is another reason to buy/play the game! Plus you learn a lot about two specific biomes… also this shows you can work together as a team to stop the fires from killing the animals.” 

Other games students came up with include “A War in the Woods,” “Animal Ram” and “Mountain Impossible.” 

To wrap up their projects, students played each other's games to get an in-depth analysis of what their peers had created. 

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