The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.
Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)
The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969
This game can be used with a variety of tasks. It requires some preparation:
1. Before the game can be played you'll need some bombs. I've provided a sheet of 20 bombs that can be printed out, mounted on card, cut out and assembled. During play we typically use 5-10 bombs - I've provide more for variety. (jump to get file)
2. Ideally you'll have some kind of shooter to play. I have a cup and ball shooter that fires ping-pong balls. If you don't have a shooter it's possible to use hair-bands (the soft elastic kind are best). You need something to blow the bombs out of the sky!
3. You'll need some way to position the bombs on the whiteboard. I have some square magnets which the bombs sit nicely on. If you only have access to ordinary round magnets make a platform for each bomb by scoring and bending a piece of card. Here's a diagram to show you what I mean.
4: You'll need an appropriate task. With elementary aged children I've been doing writing. The nature of the task varies with the ability of the class. With some the target has been spelling three letter words, others have been making their own sentences.
5. To ready the game draw a city outline at the bottom of the whiteboard and a plane at the top. Place some bombs at random heights on the whiteboard.
6. The game is played in rounds. Use a timer and set an appropriate length of time (90 seconds works for me but experiment - it's OK to change the time limit from round to round). Players work on their tasks individually. Every time a player completes a problem give the player a chance to shoot down the bombs. At the end of the round play pauses. Move the bombs down the whiteboard, one or two bomb lengths. Start the next round.
7. The object of the game is to save as much of the city as possible. If a bomb reaches a building erase it and draw in rubble/flames as desired. I think the game works best if the number of bombs on the whiteboard is limited to 4 or 5. As one bomb is destroyed allow the plane to drop fresh bombs until your predetermined number of bombs is used up.
I've been using this game without comment. I haven't mentioned any specific wars, though I think the game might be a good introduction into a discussion about modern 'warfare'.
if using a worksheet as the task you may like give out different sheets at the same time. I've mixed easy and challenging sheets together. In this case the sheets should be shared. After each round players pass their sheet on to the player on the left. In this way the sheets are circulated. For reinforcement sheets can have duplicated items. You could also mix up sheets done previously
getfile: Bombs Away!PDF File (2003) B5, 1 page, 755 kb PDF File (2015) B5, 1 page, 575 kb PDF File (2016) B5, 1 page, 578 kb PDF File (2018) B5, 1 page, 576 kb
- Top Page
- Across The Table
- Add One More
- Be A Monster!
- Black Hole (board game)
- Bombs Away!
- Co-operative Quiz
- Dice Stack
- Fast Food Tag
- Find My Number
- Find The Penny
- The Happy Game
- Line Up!
- Maze Challenge
- Natty Narration
- Nose Nose Nose
- One Step Forward!
- Pair Fluency Match 7 - Death Wish
- Pair Fluency Match 7 - Go Green!
- Parrot Parade
- Passport Control
- Reach The Top!
- Tickle Time
- What Cards
- Which One?
- Whose Shoe?
- World Cup Football 2018
- You, You, Me!
- Wake Up
- Songs and Music
- Strips (songs and otherwise)
- 2019 Spelling Bee
- Cars in Japan
- Ed makes History
- Forest Bathing
- Japan and the Summit
- Plastic in Japan
- Return to Fukushima
- This Week in History: March 21-26
- This Week in History: March 28 - April 2
- This Week in History: April 8-10
- This Week in History: April 12-15
- This Week in History: April 19-24
- This Week in History: April 24-26
- This Week in History: May 6-11
- This Week in History: May 11-14
- This Week in History: May 18-23
- This Week in History: May 25-31
- This Week in History: June 1-5
- This Week in History: June 11-14
- This Week in History: June 15-21
- This Week in History: June 22-27
- This Week in History: June 29 - July 5
- This Week in History: July 6-12
- This Week in History: July 14-19
- This Week in History: July 27-31
- This Week in History: August 17-21
- This Week in History: August 27-30
- This Week in History: August 31 - September 6th
- This Week in History: September 7-13
- This Week in History: September 14-20
- This Week in History: September 22-27
- This Week in History: September 28 - October 4
- Typhoon Jebi
- Yayoi Kusama's Infinity