I was in charge of co-op for the seniors this week and one of the chapters in our history reading had to do with Emporer Chi'en-lung of China and the Forbidden City. I found a really cool print-and-make palace from the Forbidden City, from a great Canon website. Not knowing what to do with it once it was put together, we brainstormed about how to use it for co-op. A game, of course! I love making games, so I got to work making one with the palace as the center of it. The kids had to answer knowledge questions (trivia from 3 chapters of history for that week) to earn books for Chi'en-lung's library. There were also "chance" cards that taught little tidbits of info about the Forbidden City itself, along with instructions either good or bad for game play. They had a lot of fun playing it, and it was a blast to make! Some wooden craft blocks served as dice, with chinese numbers 1-6; so the kids had to figure out what the symbols meant too.
Because there are close to 1000 buildings in the Forbidden City, now called the Palace Museum, this obviously could not be a true representation. I took some serious artistic license with it. For instance, I'm sure that the Imperial Garden by the northern wall of city didn't look anything like this:
We had some fun making little bridges to cross the canal that runs through the city. We only had 7 bridges, but I'm sure there are tons more in the real city.
I really do adore making games for school. There's just one problem: where to store all these fun games until we can use them again!!!