Finally! Someone gets it! We’ve been writing about games for years now, constantly suggesting (and pushing) families and educators to find a way to use them as part of a balanced curriculum. Look around your child’s classroom and you’ll find mass-market games like Apples to Apples, Chutes & Ladders and maybe a copy of Life. I’m sure they teach ‘something’ to the child (how to lose graciously?), but these games focus on entertainment first and really haven’t taken the educational opportunity into consideration.
Over the years we’ve run into a number of titles that would be absolutely perfect for the classroom. Expedition: Famous Explorers, 1812 and Gravity Maze are all games that are both fun and educational. But like most, they don’t support more than a few players and most teachers cannot afford to purchase multiple copies so every child can play at the same time.
Academy Games has taken up the cause with something special issued for their popular game, 1775 – Rebellion – a teacher’s edition! And what makes it great is only one copy of the game is needed for the entire classroom! But more on that in a minute.
If you saw our previous feature about Academy Games’ 1812, you have a good idea of how 1775 – Rebellion plays. To refresh your memory, both games are team-based and have you re-enacting a famous time in American history. In 1775, American colonies began to stockpile weapons and began to organize militia. In the Spring, militia members ambushed a column of British Redcoats who were trying to recover these arms. This was generally considered to be the beginning of the American Revolution.
In 1775 – Rebellion, each team controls one of the major factions that participated in the Revolution (Redcoats, British Loyalists, Hessian Mercenaries, Continental Army, Patriot Militia and of course, the French). As in 1812, players take turns moving their regiments and rolling dice to determine who wins each battle. Included cards dictate movement restrictions and others award special actions or events.
Your team’s ultimate goal is to have control of more of the 13 original colonies than your opponent when a truce is declared. Each colony is divided up into movement areas, so it is possible for colonies to be ‘tied’ by having armies from each side in the same colony.
Our family really enjoyed 1812, so it should come as no surprise that we also loved 1775 – Rebellion. Of the two it is very hard to pick a favorite, but we’d have to give the nod to 1775 as it seems to have just a little bit more depth with the shared colonies. And as a parent, what really pushes it over the top is the new teacher’s guide!
This one-week lesson plan retails for only $20 and includes five pre-formatted lessons perfect for supplementing regular American history discussion. With special instructions for creating teams to control each faction, one person acts as the Captain to execute the decided moves and team members can take turns rolling the dice to resolve the battles. The first day’s lesson is just a primer of how the game works, allowing the children to discover how the game is played and to discuss formulating strategies and tactics.
On subsequent days the real history lessons begin. Lesson 2 discusses Taxation without Representation, the Quartering Act of 1765, the Townshend Acts and more. Using the game board, the students will discover the colonies as they existed at the beginning of the war and can compare it to their regular source materials. At this point they are encouraged to begin working on their own PowerPoint presentations!
Later lessons talk about how protests began turning violent, the establishment of the First Continental Congress (and the Second) and how foreign troops impacted the birth of our country. Each chapter has a full list of suggested supplementary sources and discussion topics related to that day’s lesson. And of course a task that includes the use of the 1775 – Rebellion game to solidify the facts learned that day.
We’re over-the-moon excited to discover what Academy Games has offered with this teacher’s guide and hope they influence other game publishers to investigate ways of incorporating their products into our children’s learning environments. This holiday season, if you’re looking for a very special gift for your child’s middle school educators, please consider picking up a copy of 1775 – Rebellion along with the teacher’s guide.
And when they’ve mastered the birth of our nation, be sure to check out all of the other history-related games Academy Games has in their current library. From 15th century France to 20th century wars, they look to have covered everything your child will encounter in history class. Tell them on Facebook and Twitter you’d like to see more teacher’s guides to go along with their games!
Would you have preferred to learn history this way?
If you’re the type that prefers to be in front of a screen rather than at a table, Academy Games has released a PC version of 1775 via Steam! And right now you can save 20% and get it for under $20!