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Literature Board Games
Grade Level(s): 9-12
By: Gary Brooks, high school teacher

Students create board games based on materials they have read. This works best for mythology or adventure text, but could work well with other types of literature as well.


Art supplies:
  • colored pens
  • cardboard
  • scissors
  • construction paper
  • pencils
  • glue/rubber cement
  • some form of board material, tag board or poster board


  1. After reading the text of choice, students are directed to create the story in board game format. I have used this for years with Beowulf.
  2. I have students work in small groups so they learn cooperative work skills.
  3. Students are directed to use as many elements from the story as possible.
  4. They generally use all of Beowulf's adventures (sometimes the add adventures), and they are to use as many other aspects of the story as possible. Bragging, kennings, the exchange of treasures, long journeys, and so on are used by most game creators. I ask them not to merely copy a famous game they have seen or played, but to be creative. They often borrow ideas from a selection of other games. Many include penalty cards for cowardice or losing in a battle. You can place as many restrictions as needed on the directions.
  5. We then play the games. Students evaluate each other based on visual appeal, difficulty of the game, the challenge presented, and whether or not each builder included all the elements assigned. I watch as the groups play and do the final evaluation.

Students learn a great deal about the text, cooperative work, evaluating fairly, and how to think creatively.


Copyright 1999 by Gary Brooks. All Rights Reserved.


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