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Rock-On / Silence! / States of Matter / Kingdoms / Who's Got the Bones? Review by Courtney Larson

Leanne Thomas
6258 Oaklawn Lane
Dale City, VA 22193

Rock-On, Silence!, States of Matter, Kingdoms, and Who's Got the Bones? are five card games created by Leanne Thomas. Ms. Thomas is a classroom teacher who noticed a lack of science games for students, so she created these card games to fill that need. All of the games are for ages 8 and up.

Rock-On, a game that teaches the cycle of rocks, is designed for 2-6 players. It contains igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rock cards, sediment and magma cards, and blue cards that represent the five different processes that change one type of rock to another. The game is played by either laying down the same type of rock card or playing a blue card that will allow the rock type to change. The person who lays down all of his cards first wins.

Silence! is a game about sound, and it can be played with 3-6 players. There are 30 pairs of cards that deal with different sound concepts. Some examples are "sound is a form of energy," "sound travels fastest through solids," and "high pitch, high frequency." This game is similar to Go Fish. Each player is dealt 7 cards, and the rest are placed in a draw pile. For each turn, one player will ask another for a card (for example, "Do you have 'pitch is the highness or lowness of a sound'?"). If the answer is yes, the player is given the card and lays the pair down; if not, the player has to draw. The person with the most pairs at the end of the game wins.

States of Matter can be played with 2-6 players, and it covers the states of matter. The cards included are solid, liquid, gas, melt, evaporate, condense, solidify, and freeze. To play, cards must be laid down in an order that simulates the changes of matter in everyday life. For example, a player might lay down a solid card, and the next player could lay down a melt card, and the next player would lay down a liquid card. The player who lays down his cards first wins the game.

Kingdoms is a card game designed for 2-6 players. In this game, players will learn about the monera, protist, fungi, plant, and animal kingdoms. The different kingdom cards have different pictures from that kingdom. So, for example, the fungi kingdom has cards with yeast, puffball, mushroom, mold, mildew, and lichen. To play, place the cards in two piles (a draw pile and a face-up discard pile). For each turn, the player must draw one card (from either the draw pile or discard pile) and discard one card. The first player to collect three cards from one kingdom and four cards from another kingdom wins.

Who's Got the Bones? is a game about vertebrates and invertebrates, and it is for 2-6 players. There are 25 vertebrate cards and 29 invertebrate cards. There is a draw pile and a face-up discard pile, and each player draws one card and discards one card during their turn. The first person that collects one of each vertebrate class (mammal, fish, bird, reptile, and amphibian) or one of each invertebrate phyla (arthropod, mollusk, cnidaria, echinoderm, porifera, and annelid) wins.

The cards for these games are nice quality. Each card has a full-color photograph and a written description of the picture. The game instructions suggest reading each card aloud as it is played to aid with learning, so it is a multisensory learning experience. If you're looking for an inexpensive (each deck is a little over $11, including shipping) and fun science supplement, I would suggest that you take a look at the card games by Leanne Thomas.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2010