Enter Settlers of Catan
The premise is that you are settlers on this new island and you are trying to farm and negotiate resources to build your settlement and be the reigning leader of the island. It involves dice rolling, building and development, and the most fun part, negotiating. It is really a teacher's dream.
Settlers of Catan: Classroom Edition
The following revisions I have made are to make it work in the classroom. Each day the following happens:
- Development Cards are to be played before the round, in order of first team, second team, third team, etc.
- Auctions for Buildings these take place if two teams try to build in the same spot. For ease of auctioning all resources are equally valuable during this phase.
- Resource Gathering takes place by one roll of the dice per number of teams. Each country keeps track of their resources for the round, and the teacher divvies them out at the end of the round. On a roll of seven, countries must subtract one resource from what they have (or will) earn that round. If a seven is rolled and a country has not received any resources that round, they must subtract from their resource reserve.
- Building Requests are submitted by the building request form (see zip file S=Sheep, W=Wheat, L=Lumber, O=Ore, and B=Brick). If more than one country wants to be build in the same area, they must pay up front, and then settle the debate next round in the auction.
I see this as useful in at least the following contexts.
- As stated above history and humanities: What are the resources that we see in X? How did those resources affect their culture? What happens when one country becomes too powerful? What happened in our game? What are the benefits and advantages of trading? (Send me more in the comments)
- Math: STATS?! This is one of the best games for figuring out the probabilities of dice (in the actual board game they are clearly labeled). You may want ore more than wheat, BUT the ore is placed on a 12, but the wheat is on an 8! I can see keeping logs of the rolls as the game is played, to figure out what is producing the most to show experimental probability, and then discuss the theoretic probability of the game. Take a break from the game to roll HUNDREDS OF DICE, and let them know that it is your team's research and development.