Students got to make up a game with any subject, as long as they were not plagiarizing. YES! I introduce copyright infringement as early as first grade. We talk about where ideas come from, what it means to create your own image, and how it helps us in all subject areas to make sure we are not just using photographs, drawings, or words that someone else already made. First grade began the year with a project discussing how we get ideas from combining things we know. We combined animals that exist to create new fantasy creatures. Planting seeds early for problem solving is sure to help my younger artists be strong as they grow in the art lab, and in school.
First grade artists were challenged to do the following things with their games; determine a theme, decide a path or board area for your players, color the entire board, make a spinner, and create characters. I was excited to see everything from sidewalk style paths to endless checkerboard games, where the players decide when the game ends.
We used a standard 90 pound drawing paper for our board games. The students colored with markers and crayons and used sharpies to outline paths and write words and numbers that needed to stand out. Each lab session students were allowed to access the 'choice table' with the tools they might want to use that day. Tools used would change based on how each artist saw the application of the marker or crayon working on their game. I also created a template spinner sheet photocopied on plain copy paper. The spinner and arrow were small enough that students had plenty of room in the additional paper space to create as many characters as they wanted for their game. When the games had been completed, I laminated both the board and spinner sheets. Students did the final lamination trimming of the spinners, arrows, characters, and boards. We attached the spinners to their game boards using 1.5" roundhead fasteners. Students got in line as they completed cutting and I used and X-acto knife to cut a hole for spinner placement on their boards, as hole puncher would not go far enough for placement. Once the students got spinners secure, they were given an envelope to glue on the back of their boards that would hold their characters. As soon as the game was pieced together, it was time to play!
What a fun time in the art lab to see all our hard work end in such success. There was no keeping these pieces for display, the kids were far to excited. I allowed the students to take them home immediately. I hope they have a great time playing with their families.