Have you heard the story of how Abraham Lincoln was persuaded by an 11 year old girl to grow a beard, just before being elected as the 16th President of the United States? It is a true story that made quite an impact on the business of then printmaker, Milton Bradley. You see, Milton Bradley owned a printing company that made lithograph prints of Abraham Lincoln without his beard. When Mr. Lincoln was elected president, he decided to grow a beard- thanks to a letter written by his admirer, 11 year-old Grace Bidell. As a result, no one wanted to purchase the lithograph prints of the President without a beard so Milton Bradley’s company went into debt. But, he didn’t give up! Instead, he used the printing press to design and print a game that would become one of the greatest board games in America- The game of Life!
Our students took this information, then created their own board games using either facts about the Civil War or word problems to help review multiplication and division skills. The results were remarkable- 25 kids playing games they created with lots of laughter in our classroom. Students used a rubric to grade each game, and I’m pretty certain they learned that it isn’t so easy being a gamemaker!