Gaming in the Library: National Game & Puzzle Month

Gaming in the library has become common place in many school and public libraries; however, there are several instances where gaming is still considered “fun” and not part of a learning atmosphere. If you’re in a school library setting that requires a lesson plan for every activity, you’re in luck! Each year in the U.S. a holiday rolls around the week of Thanksgiving: National Game & Puzzle Week. The purpose of the holiday is to promote socially interactive games such as board games and puzzles. I would also add breakout games and team-building activities to the list.

game-and-puzzle

National Game & Puzzle Celebrations

At school libraries, the week of Thanksgiving is typically one or two school days, making this a great opportunity to take advantage of National Game & Puzzle Week. We set up games on tables with a variety of card games and board games. Some students have previously asked for “hard” coloring pages or blank paper to play Hangman or Tic-Tac-Toe, so we are adding trays of paper games to our arsenal. This year, I will be filming teachers sharing stories of their favorite childhood games to add to our website and Facebook pages.

Getting Parents Involved

To involve parents, we send home a letter explaining our celebration. We ask that parents share stories of their favorite games they played as children. My co-teacher and I both share some stories with our students about playing games growing up. I like to share about my three-month-long game of Monopoly with my niece and nephew every day after school. Many students return from break and share stories that they heard. This makes a great conversation starter at Thanksgiving dinner!

Celebrating at Public Libraries

Many public libraries are also getting in on the fun of celebrating National Game & Puzzle Month. Check out Denver Public Library’s¬†links to online games for their patrons. Chicago Public Library encourages patrons (in a 2014 post) to visit the library to check out their stash of board games. This would also make a great collaboration effort between school and public libraries. Many households no longer own board games, so they could utilize the public library’s collection!

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Whether you are celebrating the whole week or just a few days, get your students involved in National Game & Puzzle Week. It’s a great way to build social skills, encourage teamwork, and share your love of gaming with your students.

 

 

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Author: Ashley Cooksey

Library Media Specialist in Arkansas. Self-proclaimed geek. Lover of nature and music. Always learning.



Categories: Blog Topics, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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