The Monopoly Project

Original Post here

I stole this idea from Yummy Maths, but unfortunatley theirs was all American, so I had to adapt it for the UK version of the game. I made up this handout for the students to work though:

My plan was 2-3 lessons and then the weeks homework to finish off whatever else needing doing. I rooted round my mum and dad’s place and found a few copies of the game to use in class (less dice, pieces, cash and houses) and basically let them run with it. Man I learned a lot:

  • Students are insanely resourceful when they think they can play a game; bottle caps became playing pieces, phones had dice apps, written accounts of what money people have appeared. I really wih I could channel that resourcefulness into productive research regularly
  • There was just too much to fill in. About 30ish properties, all with 9 pieces of data. Thats a hell of a table to fill in and it took some students AAAAGEEESS. I shied away from giving them the data already in a table because I wanted them to encounter the board and properties. Future versions of this will have some to most of the data filled in, with gaps to complete
  • Some students have never played Monopoly. I was a little shocked, I mean I despise the game, it’s an awful example of a board game that is made and played even worse by house rules and a win-more attitude. But seriously, never played?! wow. Maybe college needs a board games club?
  • Theres a hella lot of scatter graphs in there.
  • I wonder if the project would have gone better using a computer spreadsheet package. It would elimate a lot of the dead time from data entry to the graphic calculators but would lose the practise of plotting graphs and drawing lines of linear regression.
  • I don’t think the students LEARNED any new material. They just applied a bunch of techniques to a (somewhat) new situation. I am unconvinced that this task was more that a glorified practise exercise.

So it was not overall a resounding success. So taking in to account the above I have updated the handout to this:

And hopefully next time I do this it will be better. I would love some feedback on this; can this be more than skills practise? Should I throw this at them at the start of the unit with less ‘calculate this’ and more ‘compare these, oh wait, you can’t?’. I also think the document might benefit from a bit if a graphical spruce up. But I suck at cutesy, so…. sorry! Laters


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