Games get students asking questions about cities, their history, geography and inhabitants. Games can be designed to study a home city, teach students about the place where they live or a new city. For example, students can learn about a city mentioned in a novel, or they can learn about the birthplace of a significant scientist. City games also can be tied in with physical education, integrating the curriculum with geography. For instance, students can study a host city for the Olympic Games.
To create a city geography game, have students identify key features of a city based on what they already know. Then divide students into groups to study those features, which could include rivers, mountains, lakes, beaches and significant mineral deposits. Have students share the information they researched. Then create a Trivial Pursuit-style game to quiz the students on the geographical facts.
City Streets and Neighborhoods
Turn map reading into a game by creating a scavenger hunt. Divide students into groups. Provide a list of street names and neighbourhoods for students to identify on a map. The first group to find all points wins. For variation, play two versions of the game, one using computer mapping and one using paper mapping. To synthesise the information, have students plot the points they found and speculate on the city's design.
City Residents and Wildlife
Divide students into groups. Gather enough copies of the city's local newspaper to provide one for each group. Have students read through the newspapers, highlighting city residents and wildlife mentioned. Who and what are mentioned in the news sections? Who and what are mentioned in the sports and features sections? Have students compare their findings as a class. What can they conclude about the inhabitants of the city?