Teach Through Games: Over/Under

Teach Through Games: Over/Under

Age level: Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School

Description: Over/Under is a unique game of working together to come up with the best estimates to a range of questions, such as “How many sweat glands does the average human have,” “How old was Mozart when he wrote his first symphony,” or “How many slices of pizza are eaten by the average American in a year?” What makes this game stand apart is that it encourages teamwork in a motivating way. The person who reads the question from the card is called the question master. The question master reads the question, then all other players work together to estimate the correct response. Once they have agreed on one answer, the question master then decides if their answer is “over” (higher), “under” (lower), or “spot on” (exactly correct.) If the question master is right, they get to keep the card. If they’re incorrect, the card goes back in the box. A new question master is chosen and gameplay continues. 

overunderSkills & Modifications: This game doesn’t really require any modifications. Your learner must have mastered some prerequisite skills in order to play, particularly the ability to respond to questions and to understand number sense and units of measurement.

Logical Thinking: The game requires each player to take information they already have and think logically about how it applies to that particular question. For some learners, I pull out cards that for which I know they have prior information before we play. This way I can provide verbal prompts to teach them the process of using logical thinking to make accurate estimations.

Estimation: This is a fun game for practicing estimation skills. What I also love about this game is that it’s generally a level playing field for children and adults. Most adults will not have knowledge of the correct answers, so they can provide a model of their thought process through the conversation generated during gameplay. 

Intraverbal Conversation: As players work together in a team to make an estimate, each player must be able to respond to the conversation of other players, build on what each player says, and offer information in a concise manner.

Peer Play/Teamwork: For learners who are motivated by facts and trivia, this is a great way to practice teamwork skills. They must be able to share their thoughts and work together to arrive at one answer.

Flexibility: Inevitably during the game, players will disagree about the estimate they should make. Players have to be flexible and photo 2 (49)continue gameplay even when their estimate is not used as the final guess. Some learners struggle with this. If they’re highly motivated by the game, it’s a great way to practice beign flexible and teaching learners appropriate language to use to express their frustration.

Pros: With 200 cards (containing 600 questions) your learner is sure to stay entertained. I also love that the game presents hundreds of interesting facts that frequently spark the learner to seek more information. You also can’t beat the price.

Cons: No cons for this game!

Extending the Lesson – This is another game in which I’ve had students create their own cards. It’s a fun way to complete a history or social studies lesson, and then add their new cards into gameplay.

Cost: $9.99  You should invest in this game if: you have a learner who loves facts & trivia, you are seeking new ways to encourage teamwork, or you are looking for a game that can be played by a wide range of ages/ability levels. 

ABLLS: F19, F20, F21, F24, F25, F27, F28, H44, H47, J16, J17, J18, L31, L32, L33, L34


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

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