Teach Through Games: Linkology

Teach Through Games: Linkology

Age level: Upper Elementary, Middle School

Description: My students and I have been loving this card game that works on linking important science concepts. In this game, you match photo cards with fact-based cards to create connections. There are three versions of the game: Human Body, Animal, and Solar System. I have played both the Animal and Solar System versions. The game also includes an easy-to-use self-check answer key so that learners can be sure they are linking science facts correctly. You can click here to see a brief video tutorial.

Skills & Modifications: The game is very easy to modify to meet you learner’s current skill level. You can simply remove the cards that your learner is not prepared to play with. As the learner gains competence with the game, you can begin to add in other cards. For example, with the Solar System version, you may remove some categories that your learner is unfamiliar with: such as dwarf planet, gas planet, and rocky planet. You can systematically increase the scope of the game as your learner becomes more knowledgeable about the topic.

The other modification I make is changing the way the cards are organized. The instructions state to place your card atop the previously played card. Many of my learners can play well with this organization, but some play better when all cards are visible. For these learners, we line up the cards as pictured below so the links are visible instead of covered with each turn.

linkology1

An example of all links showing instead of stacked.

No matter how you organize the game, it can be used to practice many skills, included those listed below.

– Class/Feature – This game requires that learners practice higher-order thinking related to identifying the class (or category) and features of many science concepts.

– Scanning – Learners must scan images and science vocabulary words in order to correctly place a card and complete their turn.

– Critical Thinking – This is a great game for practicing critical thinking skills. It allows learners to practice making connections between scientific concepts, but because it has visual and textual cues built into the game it’s possible to play with a wide range of skill levels.

– Science Vocabulary – This is fun way to practice vocabulary skills related to the scientific topic of the version you are playing: human body, animal, or solar system. It introduces multiple turns and allows for lots of practice in using those terms appropriately.

Pros: It’s difficult to find quality games that practice science skills, so I’m especially excited about the Linkology series!

Cons: None. I only recently discovered this game, and it has quickly become one of my favorites.

Cost: $9.99 You should invest in this game if: you have a learner over the age of 8, you are a parent seeking games to practice academic skills during summer and breaks, or you are an elementary school or science teacher seeking fun ways to practice skills.

ABLLS: A10, B18, B19, C38, C39, G29

VB-MAPP: LRFFC 15, VP-MTS 14

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