It is probably out of fashion at the moment to suggest such crazy ideas as kids having fun in your lessons. Playing the peasant farming game? Don’t be so ridiculous – where is the evidence of exceptional progress by all in the first 10 minutes your SLT may well cry!
Well, you know what I say in reply – sod em! Kids should have fun when they learn. For me learning is fun and learning through games is great fun. As mentioned on another page, it was Alistair Smith who wrote that learning should take place in low stress, high challenge environments. The peasant year game is quite simply, fun!
I have never failed to see children playing this game not enjoying themselves. Such board games are good on a whole load of other levels too. The teach children patience of taking it in turns. Of laughing at themselves as well as others. In this world of computer games, ipads, etc the art of playing old fashioned games could well be lost. It is our job as teachers to socialise children and turn them into respectable adults.
I have played a version of The peasant farming game (download below) with year 7 in every single year of my teaching career. And, they have always loved it.
The de-brief chat about what the games tells us about the lives of peasants is always really rewarding and it proves that they have learnt loads. If you do want /your pupils to write something at the end, model and then get them write a descriptive piece of writing describing a peasants year. However, you could just get them to play the game again and actually have some fun!
Sorry for those of you obsessed with levels, data and tracking but I can’t offer you a mark-scheme here. Just relax and let the kids learn through play.Free Download
This great game is now available in the highly rated ‘Making Sense of History Book 1’ published by Hodder Education.