Friday, May 4, 2012


I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and a variety of other social skills, I find I can often use the games to work on math and literacy skills. So, every Friday, I am going to post a Friday Game Night post, giving tips on how to use a particular board game in your classroom. Here’s this week’s Friday Game Night Tip:

Monopoly – Part 2 (Literacy)

Monopoly is an amazing game for teaching economics, but it’s also great for different literacy concepts. Here are some ideas on how to use it in your classroom. These ideas are all for the standard version of Monopoly, but could be adapted to fit Monopoly Junior for primary students.

1. Tell the Property’s Story – Each property in Monopoly has a name and a price, but what’s the story behind each piece?  Why is Boardwalk so much more expensive than St. Charles Place?  Let students think up (and write down) stories to tell the story behind each property.  Let them write a story about what is happening on Ventor Avenue this year.  It’s a great way to get creative writing going in your classroom.
2. Write Your Own Chance and Community Chest Cards-  Let students come up with their own rewards and punishments doled out when you land on chance or community chest.  This will give students a chance to work on writing, but also increase their critical thinking.
3. School-Opoly Math Bulletin Board – Grab this free schoolopolyfreebie3copy of my School-Opoly board from Google Docs and make a Monopoly Bulletin Board (if you can run it through a poster-maker, it’s all the easier). Make it as simple or as complex as you’d like – students can use it in a center or you can have teams and use it as a whole group activity. Simply write vocabulary words onto the board, student roll the dice, if they can explain the meaning of the word correctly, they get to “own” that property. When the game is done – the person who owns the most properties wins.
4. Multiple Choice – Opoly – Here’s another use for the School-Opoly board:  Simply write those ELA test prep multiple choice questions onto the game board, instead of vocabulary words.  Students roll the dice, if they can answer the question correctly, they get to “own” that property. When the game is done – the person who owns the most properties wins.

I hope some of the ideas will help you use Monopoly in a new, different way. Find more ways to use board games in your room by clicking HERE. Keep playing games and watching your students learn.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources