Growing Up—Choices & Challenges

Growing Up—Choices & Challenges lesson plan

Should I buy a new bike or save for a car? Will I get grounded or win that scholarship? Answer these questions as you design a cool, new game about growing up—with your own personal twists.

  • 1.

    In small groups, list and compare favorite board games. Read and discuss books such as Enders Game by Orson Card or The Egypt Game by Zilpha Snyder. Brainstorm common factors found in the games such as paths to follow, bonus or challenge cards, obstacles, rewards, consequences, game pieces, random number generators, and other attributes.

  • 2.

    With Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils, write a list of immediate and future goals for your life. Think about 6 months to perhaps 20 years in the future. Also list obstacles or challenges that might interfere with reaching those goals, such as the need to practice 3 hours a day or to go to college for 8 years. Create another list of possible rewards and consequences, such as an allowance increase or being grounded for a week.

  • 3.

    Decide on the design of your game board. How will players move from start to finish? Sketch your ideas on scrap paper. Try different configurations to make sure everything will fit on your board. Determine the basic rules for your game so you know what parts to make. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • 4.

    Create an eye-popping game board by using white Crayola Color Explosion™ Markers and Paper to create a path leading from start to finish. Cut out stepping stones for the path. Glue the decorated shapes to dark construction paper. Glue the base to larger brightly colored paper to form a border.

  • 5.

    Make spinners and game pieces with Crayola Model Magic® compound. Try swirling Model Magic colors, adding dots or stripes, and stacking colors to make your game pieces stand out on the board. Model Magic dries to the touch overnight and dries completely in 2 to 3 days.

  • 6.

    Use the lists you created to add another layer of fun to your game. Create reward and consequence cards connected to your challenges and obstacles. Decorate cards with symbols that match those used elsewhere in your game. Write words with Crayola Fine Line Markers.

  • 7.

    Have fun playing your games with friends and classmates! Compare and contrast the features of your games.


  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.
  • SS: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.
  • SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.


  • If possible, have several board games available for students to review. Possibilities games include Monopoly, Candy Land, RISK, Twister, Cranium, Chutes and Ladders, etc.
  • Students work in small groups to develop their original games. Challenge students to write clear, concise explanations of the purpose of their games, as well as the rules to follow when playing the games.
  • Students adjust the focus of their original games to worldwide issues such as green living, global warming, and/or limiting carbon footprints. If possible, students use recycled materials to create a larger format. An written explanation of the purpose of the game, as well as clear, concise rules, need to be included for this expanded format.