Jack and the Beanstalk Game
Start by reading the book, Jack and the Beanstalk; any version will do. You can also create a literature study about the book and the history of the book, or read several versions of the story and do a character comparison, if desired.
After reading the story, create a follow-up activity to use as a center game/interactive bulletin board. Students will answer questions to "climb" to the top of the beanstalk.
Green construction paper to make the beanstalk.
Green construction paper to make the leaves.
Index Cards (or card stock)- the number of cards needed will depend on how high you make the beanstalk. So, if the beanstalk is 12 leaves high, you will need 12 cards for each student. You can have the students print their names on the index cards to help create the game faster.
Index Cards to write the questions- you will need at least 24 questions to practice.
An answer key- optional
Prepare the Game:
Make a beanstalk on a bulletin board with construction paper. This can also be done on the back of the classroom door if there is room. Create a clever title for the beanstalk game, like, "Stepping Up to Math Facts" or "Reaching the Top with Spelling Words" depending on the skill you will be practicing.
Create leaves going up both sides of the beanstalk. Be sure to have an even amount on both sides of the beanstalk so that it is fair when the students climb or descend. Laminate the leaves. Place a piece of Velcro onto each leaf.
Write each student's name on card stock or an index card and laminate. Put a piece of Velcro on the back of each name.
Examples of Practice to Create the Question Cards:
Addition or subtraction problems
Multiplication or division problems
Matching numbers with number words
Vocabulary words, spelling words, word wall words
World geography facts
Science facts (for example, parts of a bean plant or parts of digestion)
Play the Game:
Students play the game in pairs. Students take turns answering and moving. Students draw a card to answer questions in any curricula area that the teacher chooses (as above). If the student gets a correct answer, then he or she climbs one leaf up the beanstalk. If an answer is wrong, then he or she moves backward one space (leaf). The student that gets to the top first, wins the game. Award the winner with chocolate coins or another small token.
Instead of playing in small groups, split the class in half and play in teams.
Whether working in teams or in pairs, have an extra student use an answer key to determine if a correct or incorrect answer was provided or the teacher or teacher assistant monitor the game for accuracy in a student's answer.
To make the game more complex, make directions like a board game, go ahead 2 spaces, lose a turn, move to the hen, gold coins, beans (use characters or objects from the story).
Created from classroom teaching experience; warning, this game is a lot of fun! Vary the subject to play as many ways as you'd like.
Photo courtesy of amazon.com by Vintage Reprints