Nine History Games to Play Right Before Spring Break

As winter break approaches, many teachers are trying to squeeze in curriculum but are your students really going to learn it? Will they remember it? Or would it be better to switch things up and use a different learning method?

The following TpT resources are fun ways to review or preview the new curriculum coming in the new year.

1.Tulip Mania

Tulip Mania 2

This is a fun, original card game that helps students learn about auctions, speculation, bubbles, and busts. History curriculum is included to teach about the conditions that led Europe to treat tulips as the most expensive commodity in the world in the 17th century. This game has so many different strategies that your students will beg to play throughout the year.

This is NOT a low-prep activity. You must print all the cards and money as well as cut them. If you take your time and use quality materials this game will last a long time and could yield years before you have to do it again.

This is a Common Core-aligned resource.


2. Teaching with Monopoly

Monopoly 2.0

Hands down my bestseller, Teaching with Monopoly is a fun way to introduce students to basic economic principles that they need to understand concepts like the Great Depression and the Great Recession. Teach students about mortgages, interest rates, and income inequality while playing America’s favorite game. Students also like learning about the symbolism and history of the game itself.

You do NOT get Monopoly with this resource. You get the teaching materials based on the board game. You must purchase game boards from authorized retailers.


3. Teaching with Chess

Teaching with Chess

By winter break, you’ve probably already finished the middle ages but there is no reason you couldn’t review it all with a different method. This is a great opportunity for you to preview how the lesson would work for next year to just teach feudalism with Chess.

You get a streaming TpT video that covers the history of chess, the symbolism of the game, and the social ranks of feudalism. Students will have a better understanding of how the ranks actually worked and will be more likely to remember them in the long term because they learned it by practicing it not just memorizing.


4. Senet


This is the world’s oldest known board game. The roughly 5,500-year-old game came from Ancient Egypt and honestly not much is known about it. The game can be seen in multiple hieroglyphics found around Egypt. Game boards have also been found in multiple tombs including King Tut’s tomb. Each discovered board has different symbols on them which could indicate different rules or objectives but the truth is we don’t really know how to play.

I’ve simplified the rules used from various sources and chose the simplest board design from Amenhotep III’s tomb. You will need supplies not included with your purchase but those supplies are cheap. The game plays like a combination of checkers and Trouble and can be played by any age group. (My son is 6 and plays.)


5. Tournament of Technology

Tournament of TechnologyTournament of the ArtsTournament of the Arts Asian EditionTournament of Full Bundle

This resource grew out of a desire to have a history game that you could play in class during the biggest sporting tournament of the year and justify your actions. The Tournament of Technology has 30 prompts of the greatest technological breakthroughs in world history. Your students should discuss and debate each pairing as they decide which technology is the best.

Tournament of the Arts focuses on European arts and obviously, the Asian Arts Edition focuses on Asian arts. Or get the full bundle for tons of fun!


6. World History Playing Cards

WHPC Ancient World FULL BUNDLEMiddle Ages BundleWorld ReligionsExtra Games Add-on

Only your imagination limits how you use these cards. Flashcards, trading cards, or as playing cards – however you choose, your students will enjoy the change-up in your teaching method.

Each card has a prompt. Pick a game or activity that uses the history on the card to preview, review, or assess what your students know. The cards are built like a deck of cards with the four traditional suites and all of the required numbers. I’ve listed the four major bundles but you can purchase the games individually however check to see if game instructions are included because most Add-ons do not include game instructions.


7. Woodblock Games

China Woodblock GameJapan Woodblock GameIndian History Woodblock Game

Get yourself bargain brand woodblock games for your classroom and tape the prompts to the blocks. Students choose random blocks to pull from the tower and must identify which dynasty or time period they belong to. When the tower falls over, the game is over. Simple. Fun. Different.

Buy all three and mix them together to really get a sense if your students know their Asian history.


8. Puzzles

Chinese Puzzles 2019Japanese PuzzlesIndian Puzzles

Easy-to-cut puzzle pieces make this an easy lesson to prep (although it does take a bit of time) or you could entrust your students to cut them for you. I’d say they can’t mess it up but I was a teacher and was amazed at what my 16-year-old students could mess up.

Each important dynasty or time period is included and helps you preview, review, or assess what your students know. Buy all three and mix them together to really get a sense if your students know their Asian history.



Chinese Dynasties BINGOJapan History BINGOIndian Bingo

Project the game on a whiteboard and click through for a predetermined BINGO game. Students get a blank board and must write which dynasty or time period each prompts is. Simple and prep free. This is a print and go resource.


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