I had the opportunity to review the book Classroom Guidance Games by Shannon Trice Black from YouthLight Publishers. It’s designed for students in grades PK-sixth grade. The book is broken up into 2 sections, PK-2 and grades 2-6. There are 25 games for early elementary students and 25 games for upper elementary. These games were perfect for my 5th and 6th graders. And since they all require active learning, I know my students will not only love them, they will help them to remember the lesson longer than any tradition lecture style lesson would.
What I loved:
- What I loved most was the letters to the parents that would go home with the students after EVERY activity. The letters simply explained what the kids learned that day and how conversations about the topic could be continued at home. This piece of communication is so important. Not only does it keep the momentum of the lesson going, but it also provides that critical piece of PR that says that counselors are important in schools.
- I also really liked The Responsible Tic-Tac-Toe Game. I am already planning a lesson using this. In this game, teams compete in tic-tac-toe, but in order to write an “x” or “o” in the square, students must answer a question.
- The Top Five Question Card Game was another great activity I will be trying. Students compete to answer the “top 5” study skills answers.
- Another thing I loved was that the directions for each activity were easy to understand. I’ve read some books, and felt clueless as how to run an activity. Shannon has taken all the guess work out of running the game. It’s simple, easy, and fun.
The games focus on 3 main topics: respect, responsibility, and reflection, but do cover study skills, careers, anger control, goal setting, citizenship, and getting along with others.
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