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Use a Board Game to Teach Gerrymandering

Grade Level Grades 6-12
Resource Type Activity
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If you're looking for a way to make an abstract topic like gerrymandering more tangible for your students, try using a game. Game based learning is a great way to make things more real - and also more fun.

The attached Powerpoint is a lesson that you can use in conjunction with the board game Mapmaker: the Gerrymandering Game. In the links below, you'll find links to a review of the game and to the game's product page on Amazon. To make full use of this Powerpoint and this activity, you would need access to one or more copies of the game.

Read this guide to teaching gerrymandering with Mapmaker the game for more info on how to use the Powerpoint.

But here's the gist of it. The slidedeck starts with an introduction of the topic. Next, it presents several pictures of the game in progress. These pictures demonstrate how a map can be gerrymandered to favor either party. This can be used to prompt discussion amongst your students. Finally, students are given instructions to play the game and a list of reflection questions to answer afterwards.

You can use this as-is, or you can feel free to adapt the Powerpoint to your particular circumstances. There are a lot of ways to adapt the portion of the lesson reserved for game play. But it is important that you give students some time to play. The game is a lot of fun, and game-based learning is a great way to engage students in thinking about these kinds of topics.

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