Tuesday, November 1, 2011

REVIEW: Create a Story board game

A few weeks ago, Sacramento had a pretty rainy day sandwiched between some warm weather in October. The boys and I decided to scrap our regularly scheduled school day to embark on a "Game Day". Who says learning has to come in the form of textbooks and worksheets??

Among the math, earth science, anatomy, and history games we played that day, we discovered a little gem that had been sitting in our closet for far too long. This board game is called "Create a Story; The Creative Writing Game". We had not played it up to this point, sadly.

(Forgive the pictures. They are not the best quality. Remember, it was a dark and stormy day).

Setting up the board is a cinch! The board is the medium in which each person's story is structured. It is through random chance of drawing cards which determine the Setting, Description, Characters, Resolution and even the topic sentence of your story. With plenty of cards to choose, based on the roll of the die, the variety of story lines are endless!

Once you and the other players have moved through the board and arrived at the end, the real fun begins! Everyone flips over the cards they have and fills out this Outline sheet with the information on the cards. This is where the deeper thinking skills kick in as each player must choose the cards that would make the most coherent story. Notice I said 'coherent'. This does not exclude goofy, ridiculous, outlandish and off the wall!

From this completed Outline sheet, everyone then begins to write their creative writing story on a piece of binder paper. As a way to help guide them, there is a scoring grid that lets them know where they can earn points.

(sorry, I can't get the picture to turn despite trying several times)

Once everyone was finished, we each read our story out loud and critiqued it based on this scoring pad.

Create a Story board game is a lot of fun, even for "non-writers", which I would classify at least one of my two boys. At first he was uncomfortable and slightly overwhelmed but by the time it came to writing out his story, and he saw that all the components of his story were ready and waiting to be written down, he loosened up and had fun!
The game doesn't dictate the story to you, instead it helps facilitate the player in writing the details and developing a story based on the various cards you draw.

This game really tapped into our imaginations, taught proper structure for writing a story and did so in a fun, non-intimidating way! Both of my boys walked away from this game feeling more confident in their writing abilities.

The one drawback is the PRICE! Yikes! It sells for around $45-$50 but looking around that is a typical price nowadays for a board game. If you can splurge and get this item for your schooling, I would recommend doing so!

*I was not paid or even given this game for free in return for my honest review. I just decided to review it. ;)

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