Board & Card Games
Do It Yourself
This is probably the best way to get games that support the particular objectives of your class.
- Useful information for designing and running an educational game are spread throughout this module. Specific steps for the process are given in How to Teach Using Game-Based Learning and you'll want to give extra thought to What Makes a Good Game?.
- EDTEC 670: Exploratory Learning through Simulation and Games ( This site may be offline. ) has a well-developed course website that brings together a lot of wonderful resources. The syllabus and rubrics will help people trying to figure for a game you design.
- A rules set, pedagogic information, and card design directions for Rocks and Minerals Solitaire ( This site may be offline. )
- Disaster Dynamics (more info) hosts a collection of games dealing with disasters and human responses to them. Many of them are still in development.
- Paleotopia: Windows to the Past (more info) : Has completed Rules and downloadable board, cards, and pieces with nice graphics. The original game is intended for grades 4-6, but it's based on card-matching, so the content of the cards could be upgraded for college students and the material chosen to fit your course.
- Biodiversity stuff to do: Endangered! (more info) : Not very challenging for college students, as the answers to the questions that the game relies on are printed right on the board, but an example of a simple trivia game.
These are less work than the above categories, but are not free.Ward's Natural Science offers several geoscience related games. Students examine well logs and seismic data to find oil in this simulation, then deal with variable oil prices, environmental issues, etc. to figure out if they can make any money. This is a pencil-and-paper game with all of the resources collected into a booklet.
- Evolution: Geologic Time Chart Game: This board game is based on the geologic time scale. As the players' pieces move through time, they have to evolve into more complex creatures.
- Science Kit and Boreal Laboratories have a lot of games, including:
- Cinnabar: A Card Game of Rocks and Minerals: is a set of 56 cards, each featuring a different mineral. Rules for 5 different games are included.
- Salmon Run Game: Each player in this board game starts off with 30,000 virtual salmon eggs and must get two survivors back to the breeding grounds so that the cycle can continue. Requires a calculator.
- Rock-On: This card game helps students connect to the rock cycle. Each turn, students play a card from their hand corresponding to the rock type currently showing or use a process card to change to a new rock type.