website: www.play break.co.uk
It should come as no surprise that this excellent board game has been created by former teacher Ania Bhandari. Grub is educationally brilliant, combining sound learning and revision opportunities with fun social interaction. It is based on an understanding of the national curriculum requirements for key stages 1, 2 and 3 for science, as well as the interests and cultural heritage of target children.
The game, designed for two to four players, is a flexible resource made from good quality materials. Excellent progression opportunities are offered in just one box. It can be played at one of three ability levels or a combination of levels within a mixed age or ability game. Grub enhances learning in science and food technology within a social context, and gives children opportunities to explain their understanding of nutrition.
The object of the game is to fill a "plate" with a well-balanced and varied diet. Players collect food group "wedges" by correctly identifying true or false statements, while protecting their own pieces from being "grabbed" by others, or from having to "scrub the grub" and return a piece to the central pool.
Grub has many facets; it contains 132 truefalse question cards, which provide the equivalent true fact for all the false statements to extend learning. The 45 colour-coded food group cards can be used on their own to create a simple variation of the game that the youngest or least able children can play. The food groups are shown on game pieces in proportion to the quantities that should make up a healthy diet - boards and pieces use colour photographs of real food - so there is continual reinforcement of healthy eating throughout the game.
I played Grub with a mixed-ability Year 4 class who had studied the QCA science unit on teeth and eating a year ago. They were immediately able to identify their earlier learning and it seemed an excellent way of revising their knowledge of nutrition and healthy eating. Best of all, Grub stimulated lots of discussion within the group about all sorts of food-related issues.
One of its best features is its embracing of possible dietary differences within a class. A great opportunity to broaden the experience of more conservative eaters while affirming the dietary choices of others.
Gillian Blatherwick is ICT co-ordinator and Year 34 team leader at Rushey Mead primary school, Leicester