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American History Go Fish Game, American History Memory Game, Teaching American Review by Brittney Rutherford and Christine HindleHistory with Games (book)
John De Gree
The Classical Historian
San Clemente, CA 92673
Games make almost any topic more interesting and fun, and John De Gree, a veteran history teacher, has capitalized on the natural learning style of children and created the History for Kids series. The Classical Historian has games for different time periods, but we are currently studying Early American History in our homeschool, so I was excited to review the Teaching American History with Games set.
American History Go Fish Game has 48 jumbo cards. These cards are very sturdy, high-quality cards with beautiful images. There are 12 sets of four cards in the following categories: Symbols, Colonial America, American Revolution, Important Documents, The Young Republic, Westward Expansion, The West, The Civil War, American Founding Fathers, Technology, Landmarks and Geography. Each set of cards is numbered and color-coded with one of the categories, has the title, a clear image, and three hints. The different parts of the cards are used for different games.
The American History Memory Game includes 48 tiles. The game tiles have 24 pairs of captioned images from American History to play memory. These are also sturdy tiles that should hold up to regular use and abuse by kids.
The book, Teaching American History with Games, includes instructions for multiple games that utilize both the Go Fish and Memory cards. A description of each image is included in the book, and these descriptions are utilized in the play of some of the games. The games are varied, and some can be played with as few as two people, while others can be done with large groups/teams. Some games are “sit-down” traditional style card games, while others are Motion Games. The games are suitable for both elementary and older (6th-12th grade) students, and all the games in the book clearly list the age range and number of players needed. There are even instructions for playing tournaments with teams, and modifications for playing with non-readers. The various types of games makes it suitable to use these games in classrooms or co-ops with groups of students, or even in tutoring or homeschool settings with fewer children.
My children are currently seven and nine years old, and they've both enjoyed this fun addition to our Early American History studies. Some of the games are chronological in nature, which allow us to build up as we move through our course, but the kids have already been inspired to research some of the topics on cards that are further than where we are at chronologically, which is always a bonus! These games are allowing my children to see iconic images from history and make visual associations with the famous people, places and events from history, and the interactive element of game-play allows them to easily remember these important concepts.
-Product review by Brittney Rutherford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2016
Another Reviewer's Perspective:
These games are great for kids to break up the monotony of just doing textbook work. Both these games are related to American History.
The first one is the American History memory game. It contains some heavy duty square cards (two for each subject) with nice illustrations that pertain to American History. It is played like a standard matching game where you put all the cards face down on the table and each player turns over two cards on their turn and if they match, they keep those. If not, they turn them back over and everyone tries to remember where they saw those particular cards so they can attempt a match. We play a similar game with our preschoolers. But as we were playing this one, we paused to discuss the things we saw on the cards and their significance in our country’s history. My granddaughter even used a couple of them for writing prompts in her writing for the day.
The other game is the American History Go Fish game. There are four games you can play with this deck of cards. One is Go Fish whereby you try to get all the cards of a set such as all four Civil War cards or all four American Revolution cards. It is played like a standard game of Go Fish. These card games are also available for Ancient History, Medieval History, Bible and Constitution. The next game you can play with these cards is the Geography Game, in which you have four Geography cards showing the various regions of the U.S. The other cards are coded for the region they pertain to, so you mix them up and have the student quickly assemble the cards based on the region they go with. Collect the Cards is a game whereby one person takes a card and reads the hints on it. If someone guesses what card it is, they get the card. If not, the reader keeps the card and then the next person at the table becomes reader. The final game is Chronology in which you line the cards up in chronological order then mix them up and have the student put them back in Chronological order as quickly as possible. These games are fun for my granddaughter who is very visual and loves to have something to touch as part of her learning rather than just reading and listening. Games have always been a big help to her in learning things and these games have been wonderful to keep her interested and invested in the subject.
The book contains instructions for all the games in great detail and gives some historical facts about the various cards.
-Product review by Christine Hindle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2016