Peace Bridge Game

Peace Bridge Game lesson plan

What two huge countries have lived side by side in peace for almost 200 years? Make a fun game to learn more about these good neighbors.

  • 1.

    The world’s longest undefended border is 3,000 miles (4828 km) long. It lies between Canada and the United States. Because they are the world’s largest trading partners, many opportunities are available for passage between the two countries. The Peace Bridge is located near the center of downtown Buffalo, New York, and Fort Erie, Ontario, where it crosses the Niagara River. The bridge opened in 1927 to commemorate 100 years of peace between Canada and the United States. It is North America’s sixth busiest border. About $1 billion in U.S. trade crosses the bridge weekly. More than 5,000 commercial vehicles cross the bridge each day.

  • 2.

    Invite students to learn more about peaceful relationships between countries and people. Discuss what attitudes and behaviors are necessary to maintain peace with neighbors, classmates, teammates, and siblings. Invent a game that shows what was learned about the Peace Bridge, Canada, the United States, and good international relations. Here’s one suggestion for a board game with question cards. Encourage students to create a fun- and fact-filled game!

  • 3.

    Choose a small, lidded box for a customs booth. Use Crayola® Scissors to cut white paper to fit around the box sides. Attach with Crayola School Glue. Air dry.

  • 4.

    Use white Crayola Gel Markers on dark blue construction paper to make a large sign for the top of the booth: Government of Canada Customs Immigration and Government du Canada Dounes Immigration. Glue a strip of construction paper below the blue. Air dry.

  • 5.

    Use Crayola Washable Markers to print Canada in dark blue. Draw a Canadian flag on the white strip. Glue the sign to the top of the booth. Below the sign, use Crayola Metallic FX Crayons to draw the aluminum seams and door of the booth. Color light blue diagonal lines for the glass in the booth. Air dry.

  • 6.

    In the same way, create a U.S. sign and flag for the other side of the booth. For the roof and overhang, glue black construction paper to the box lid. Keep the lid free to open and close. Air dry.

  • 7.

    To make game cards, cut lined index cards in half. On the lined side, write a question about Canada or the United States. Questions might include official animals; names and numbers of provinces, territories, or states; national anthems; flags; names of presidents or prime ministers; currency; and capitals. Write answers in parentheses or upside down. On the blank side of each card, write C or US, depending on which country the question represents, and decorate the card. Make as many cards as you wish.

  • 8.

    To make the game board, choose a large piece of cardboard. Draw three game-card-size spaces in a row on white paper. Repeat. Cut out each row. Glue one row on the left and one on the right of the board. Air dry flat.

  • 9.

    Label the middle space on one side, Facts About the United States and on the other side, Facts About Canada. Color the remaining spaces.

  • 10.

    Tape blue, white, purple, and gray Gel Markers together so the tips are even. Press the markers over and over on dark construction paper to create macadam (asphalt). Glue the road to the center of your game board. Air dry flat.

  • 11.

    Glue the customs booth in the middle of the roadway. Dry thoroughly. Use markers and Crayola Washable Markers on oaktag or recycled file folders to draw customs workers in their dark blue uniforms and a drug-sniffing dog on a leash. Add tabs and glue in place. Air-dry before playing.

  • 12.

    To play, two players face each other. Shuffle U.S. and Canada question cards and stack them face down in their designated spaces. Players take turns asking each other questions from first one stack, then the other. If a player answers a question correctly, the player receives the card and stacks it in place on the game board. If the question is answered incorrectly, it is placed inside the customs booth and used for the next game. The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the game. Store the game cards inside the booth so they’re ready to play again soon.

Standards

  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • 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: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • MATH: Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.
  • SS: Demonstrate an ability to use correctly vocabulary associated with time such as past, present, future, and long ago; read and construct simple timelines; identify examples of change; and recognize examples of cause and effect relationships.
  • SS: Identify and describe factors that contribute to cooperation and cause disputes within and among groups and nations.
  • SS: Explore the role of technology in communication, transportation, information-processing, weapons development, or other areas as it contributes to or helps resolve conflicts.
  • SS: Identify and describe examples in which science and technology have changed the lives of people, such as in homemaking, childcare, work, transportation, and communication.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • 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.

Adaptations

  • Student teams collaborate in researching information about the building and running of The Peace Bridge. Each team is charged with developing a game reflecting their research. Students games should have written directions which include rules for playing the game.
  • Investigate other countries that have used improvements in technology to open their borders for citizens from both sides of the border. What countries are involved? What improvement was made? How long did it take to construct the improvement? How much did it cost? Is it improving the lives of citizens of both countries? If so, how?
  • If you were charged with re-naming The Peace Bridge, what would you name it? Take a poll of all students in the class for nominations. Have the class vote on a new name. Keep data on all votes and report the final count in the form of a graph.