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4 Classic Board Games That Are Perfect for the Classroom

4 Classic Board Games That Are Perfect for the Classroom

It’s likely that there are a couple of old board games sitting unused somewhere in your home. Why not bring them to the classroom to spice up your teaching strategies in this new year? Research has revealed that playing board games in the classroom or on family game night helps with brain development. It also suggests that board games can be helpful in building social skills and self-esteem and in teaching children about rules, competition, fair play, and values. So, brush off the dust, and have some fun in your classroom with these great ways you can use classic board games to teach your students.


Even if you’re not a board game fanatic, chances are you have or know multiple people who have the game Monopoly. Most people know Monopoly as a real-estate game where you collect $200 when you pass ”Go.” A great way to take the game a step further in the classroom is to use it to teach students about math, finances, and negotiation. Allowing students to play games with one another and reflecting on the strategies that lead to victories are great connectors to the concepts that you’re teaching in class. Monopoly also has over 1,000 editions of the game to ensure that you can suit the interest of students in any subject.


Risk is the game where the one objective is world domination. Players builds armies, protect territories, and attack opponents. Have your students take a step back and analyze how players win. They’ll soon realize that to be good at the game of Risk, one needs to have skills like diplomacy and negotiation and also understand timing, odds, and long-term strategy. It’s appropriate for when you need an engaging way to get students interested in geography and how geopolitics play a role in major historic moments.


Scrabble is probably one of the first board games that comes to mind when you think about bringing board games into the classroom. Relying upon making words from a random assortment of letters, champions of Scrabble are usually highly skilled at memorizing obscure terms and anagrams. With your students, you can use Scrabble to construct vocab words or look up new terms in the dictionary. Scrabble can take English language arts education to the next level with its gamification by tapping into the competitive side of students.


Clue, the greatest “whodunnit” board game, asks students to create and test hypotheses to guess the culprit, the room, and the weapon before other players. It’s a fun way for students to get in character and learn more about social interactions and alliances that can come about as they try to find the correct answer.

The games listed above are classics, but virtually any board game can be used within the classroom if you keep a few factors in mind:

Is this game age-appropriate?

As we mentioned above, board games are capable of teaching students valuable life skills while connecting them to classroom material, but you have to make sure that you adapt the board games to be age-appropriate. Make sure that your students are playing at a level that doesn’t become too frustrating for them.

What skills will this game develop in students?

Be able to identify and explain what skills students will develop if they were to play this game day in and day out.

How can we further discussion and explanation of student thinking?

Every student will love game day, but consider how you can make sure that students can identify or explain their thinking and reasoning as they’re playing.

Looking for more ideas that will keep students engaged in the classroom? Check out how these educators are using Study Island’s game-based Group Sessions to keep students engaged in their classrooms.