While these might not be games that most students would choose to play in their free time, they are arguably more fun than reading a textbook and taking a test. Below is a listing of the Common Core Standards for history and social studies that this game-based curriculum can help educators to meet.
Across the United States, the norm is that parents are expected to provide information on political positions and values. For a topic as important as politics, students should be provided with an unbiased source of information, but for the majority of students, this has not been available. Now with online political commentary readily available, there is so much divisiveness that extreme views have become the norm and generate the most attention. Understandably, parents are likely to prefer that political views not be discussed in school unless they know their own stance will be represented fairly or positively. The games on this site have been carefully constructed to promote an understanding of the positive values and principles of each party, with the hope that collaboration rather than enmity can develop. By inviting parents to review the game-based curriculum online, they can discern the even-handed treatment and use the materials as a resource for discussion and learning at home.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4 Standard: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/ social studies.
The game True Colors gives definition to the current four major political parties in the United States.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.5 Standard: Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
To describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally), students can be encouraged to discover that in the page printouts of True Colors, text is presented comparatively, whereas in the game play rules, text is presented sequentially. An example of causally presented text is the game board of the game titled domination. The icons, agendas, and associated text are juxtaposed across from one another (and crosswise at the corners), representing in many instances the reactions of each side against a stance of the opposite side.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.6 Standard: Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
The alternate rules allow players to look up information to validate their statements during game play. This provides an ideal opportunity to “Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).”
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.4 Standard: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
The games require that players become familiar with political vocabulary. As an important learning aid, the play rules for each game include a table that explains the basic stance of each party.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.5 Standard: Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
On the game board of the game titled domiNation, the icons, agendas, and associated text are juxtaposed across from one another (and crosswise at the corners), which advances a similar analysis to the Nolan chart. Further, the downloadable texts on the Nolan chart page have structures useful to analyze.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.6 Standard: Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
If the various parties can be considered the authors of their respective views, each game meets the intent to compare “how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize.”
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.7 Standard: Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
The games offer diverse formats for political information, including visual (icons) and words, all with the intent “to address a question or solve a problem,” which is the problem of how to create policy that is acceptable to diverse parties and perspectives.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8 Standard: Evaluate an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
In the games fractioNation and domiNation, the point is to “evaluate an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.”