Portable playthings

Yasmin Jayathirtha

card-game All of us have played board games, card games and other kinds of games. We enjoyed them and played for fun. But, I am sure we learnt a lot of skills, honing our memories and learning to calculate on the fly. I am sure I owe a lot of my mental arithmetic abilities to a game called ‘Clearance’ that we used to play at home. Rummy or Sets allowed us to sequence and strategize. And all this happened while we were being entertained. So what about games to learn subjects? Will they help? Mathematics and languages have many board games that give practice for concepts. What about the other subjects? Games would be useful in the science subjects, to supplement the drill work necessary to learn facts and formulae.

There are many games available on the Internet that one can practice and are colourful, dynamic, and enjoyable. However, they require a lot of equipment and can usually only be played by one or two students at a time. Card games really fit the bill, they are portable, occupy hardly any storage space and can be played anywhere and at anytime and do not require power.

I will describe three games that can be played to practice the concepts of bonding, particularly the formulae of ionic compounds. These are quite hard to remember and it is very dull to write reams and reams of formulae.

The author works with Centre for Learning, Bengaluru. She can be reached at yasmin.cfl@gmail.com.

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