Friday, October 2, 2015

Plate Tectonics on the Move {printable board game}

My fifth grade son is learning about the ice age this year in school. My goal is to always to piggy-back on what he's learning in school with some fun after school activities.

Since you can't learn about continental drift without a foundation of knowledge about plate tectonics, I thought a fun game on the topic of moving plates and the resulting land forms would be neat.

Download the three-page PDF of the game board and die free from Google Drive here. Print the PDF onto cardstock.

Since home printers won't print full-bleed (i.e. all the way to the edge of the paper), trim the white border from the two pages of the game board where they'll join. Tape in place.

Cut the die out. Score the lines for smooth folds with the back end of a butter knife. Fold and use a low-temp glue gun to assemble.

Grab two (or more depending on the number of players) different items to use as game pieces (e.g. buttons, coins, poker chips, LEGO minifigures, etc.). We used some full-body photos of ourselves that were laminated and put in large binder clips.

Put the game pieces on the START. The youngest player rolls the die first. The player must determine what plate tectonic movement creates the land form or event that was rolled on the die. The game piece is moved to the first occurrence of that particular movement (convergent, divergent, or lateral). 

If the player rolls, "LOSE A TURN," the game piece remains where it is and the next player rolls. If the player rolls "ROLL & MOVE 2," they will move twice, to the next two movement types resulting from the land form rolled.

The player must roll the land form/event that puts them at the final square to win. The first player to arrive at the finish is declared the winner.

Before my son played the game I made, he read a book that helped to explain concepts like oceanic and continental crust, the Earth's layers, and what happens when plate tectonics move. The comic book style of this book kept my son engaged from cover to cover!


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