Age level: Upper Elementary, Middle School

Description: If you’re anything like me, your first thought upon seeing this game is “What the heck does Terzetto even mean?” A quick peek at the Rules of Play included with the game answers: “The name Terzetto comes from Italian and often refers to a musical trio. Just as a trio works together to create a harmonious sound, you will employ a trio of key mental abilities with this game — visual discrimination, spatial reasoning, and fine-motor skills.”

Now that I have the anwer to that question, it’s time to play! This is a unique game that looks simpler than it actually is. The object is to fill your board as best as you can by adding marbles three at a time according to the pattern on the shaker.

There are rules for playing two differnt two-player games and one one-player game.

Skills & Modifications: Terzetto practices many skills, including the ones described above. What I really love about the game is that it is an ever-changing puzzle.

– Motor Skills – This is an especially great game for older learners who still need practice with fine motor skills. Grasping the marbles may be difficult for these learners, but for many of them the game will be motivating enough for them to practice it voluntarily.

– Spatial Reasoning – The core of this game is the ability to use spatial reasoning. The learner has to complete multiple steps within each turn and consider orientation, slots available on the board, (for one version of the game) how to arrange the marbles by color, and possible impact of a marble placement on future turns. It is a complex use of spatial reasoning that requires the learner to access knowledge from multiple areas simulateously.

– Orientation – This game does require that learners be able to “turn around” the visual cue from the shaker to figure out how to place the marbles on their own board. For some learners, I modify this task by using a backwards chain, so I will place the first two marbles and have the learner show where the third marble belongs. Once the learner has responded correctly about three consecutive times, then I will place only the first marble and have the learner show where the second and third marbles belong. Once the learner has responded correctly at that level three consecutive times, then I will have him/her place all three marbles independently.

– Strategy/Logical Thinking – Once the learner has played a couple of times, they should begin to think how they are placing marbles each turn to keep as many options open as possible for future turns. This is the most challenging aspect of the game for most of my learners, and it is a difficult skill to teach. For some learners, I would occasionally use a verbal prompt such as “Can you think of a better place to put those marbles?” or “What might happen on your next turn if you only have those slots available on your board?”

– Independent Play – I really appreciate that the Rules of Play include instructions for playing independently. This is a great activity for learners with autism who enjoy visual spatial puzzles and need age-appropriate tasks for independent play or activity schedules.

– Peer Play – This is a great game for two players.

Pros: I can’t stress enough how important it is to have age-appropriate activities for independent play! Many of my learners enjoy this game and interact with the materials appropriately. I played this game with several learners, aged 7-12, and they all enjoyed it. My learners were also highly motivated to play with marbles and were especially delighted with the shaker.

Cons: I hesitate to list this as a con, but it is important considering my student population that some of the skills here are very difficult. You may need to plan ahead to be sure you are providing clear and consistent prompts to ensure success with this game.

Cost: $21.99 You should invest in this game if: you are looking for opportunities to work on more complex visual and spatial tasks or are seeking options for encouraging appropriate play. This is also a great game if you are a classroom teacher seeking valuable quiet activities for students to complete individually or in pairs.

ABLLS: A19, B18, K4, K15

VB-MAPP: Independent Play 14

**Terzetto was provided to me for free by the company Gamewright to write about here. This did not influence my opinions on the game. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.

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