We know games are so important and benefit us both as Americans and as educators. We hope you will incorporate these American History Games in to your homeschool day.
Have you heard the myth that the game of baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday, a Union General during the Civil War who grew up in Cooperstown, New York? There is not a whole lot of evidence supporting this idea, but the fact that the Baseball Hall of Fame now resides in Cooperstown forever links the game to the man.
All throughout the Civil War, there are records of both Union and Confederate soldiers enjoying what has popularly become known as “The American Pastime”. Even after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, there are stories of both sides joining together for a game of baseball while waiting for the brass to finish negotiating terms.
Why Play Games?
“[Independence Day] will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America…It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, GAMES, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.” —John Adams
Games bring people together.
In an age where everything from worship to work, relationships to recreation are becoming increasingly isolated activities, participating in group games bring people together. Whether friends, family, or—as in the days of the Civil War—enemies, games provide common ground, a common goal, and teamwork. They provide an opportunity to sort through personal differences in order to achieve an objective.
Games are a way to celebrate.
Americans love their pomp and circumstance! We love any excuse to celebrate, and generally in our celebrations, we tend to let loose and have fun. Games are a way to celebrate. Whether it be the celebration of an achievement, an event, or a person, games are simply great ways to have great fun.
Games are an avenue for learning.
For many of us though, we are not just Americans, we are also in some way or another participants in the realm of education. And for that, games are great avenues for learning. Just about any game could be turned into an educational experience if you have enough time, patience, and creativity. Incorporating the first two points, playing educational games can be both a means of bringing students and peers together while giving them a chance to celebrate their knowledge and hard work.
American History Go Fish Cards
We created a template if you would like to make your own American History Go Fish playing cards. You can cut and paste photos, names, events, locations or hand draw pictures and info on the template and then laminate the cards if you choose. The great thing about this template – it’s editable! You can change your cards and reprint as many times as you want.
Instead of asking, “Hey, Mom, do you have a nine?” one would ask, “Hey, Mom, do have George Washington?”
With a little bit of info and a picture about each person, you and your children will have the Founding Fathers, the Generals from the Civil War or WWII, or the Presidents of the United States down in no time! This is also a great opportunity for your artists to draw their own cards! Art, history, and games in one lesson.