I am not ashamed to admit that I play games in speech. As a matter of fact, I consider myself to be something of a professional game player! Board games are rich in learning opportunities, including social interactions. But my goal is not to convince you of the merits of playing games with your students (that’s kind of like preaching to the choir after all), but to tell you about my new favorite game for older students.
I work primarily with older students, and my latest favorite is Settlers of Catan, a mixture of luck of the dice and strategy.
I especially like that it is age-appropriate and can be used with low readers since it is very picture-based. You can’t complete the game in one speech session, so I put the board on a surface where it can be transferred to a safe place until our next group. Here are the skills that are supported with this addictive board game:
Negotiating & communicating with others: A big part of Catan is trading resources (wood, wheat, ore and brick). On each turn, players interact with others by negotiating trades or “haggling”. Social skills are
Turn-taking: The game helps kids to understand and respect turn-taking, but since on each turn there is a chance that every player could collect resources there is not much chance to grow bored waiting.
Basic math skills: Catan uses two dice, providing opportunities to do simple addition. Players also need to work out when they are owed resource cards and how many of each resource is coming their way. They must also be able to understand the symbols for different resources and pay the correct number of each to build a settlement or a road.
Basic literacy: There is some literacy in reading some of the cards, but the game is very image-based so we can all play together despite different reading abilities.
What is a favorite game in your speech room? Please comment below and let me know!