A game idea for history classes

The goal of the game is to connect events in history (political, art, literature, science, music — anything with dates) by hypothetical influences. Fosters creative thinking, fun, and thinking about history in a more connected way.


  • Pick a date range.
  • Assign each student to make cards of 2 or 3 events.
    • Ideally a pack of 50 cards or more
    • Game is best if each is a unique date or a max of 3 sharing a date.
  • Each card should have the event, date, and ideally an image either pasted or drawn.
  • After all cards are returned, divide the class into 3 or more teams.
  • Distribute the cards to the teams, 7 to each team, face up. Everyone can see all teams cards (for planning).
  • Place remaining cards face down, a draw pile.
  • Draw one more card and place it somewhere everyone can see, middle of a large table, pinned to a board, or on a separate table.


  • Each team adds a card from their set to one of the cardinal positions of any card in play (like Dominoes).
    • Team can ask the class for clarification of the event on any one card in their own set or in play.
    • Team states how the card with the earlier date ‘influenced’ the other card.
      • The two cards are the one played and the one adjacent to it.
      • You might want to set a timer on this step.
    • This Influence statement is then rated by each other team for:
      • Plausibility: 1-3
      • Originality: 1-3
      • 1 extra point for making other students laugh
    • House (teacher) rules can allow discussion and change of rating.
    • Recommended: teams write their Influence statements and connected events for posterity (or something to laugh about later).
  • Team draws a new card (or not for a shorter game).
  • Game continues until time limit or all cards are used.
  • Team can insert a card between two others, then providing two Influence statements. The two Influence statements are rated separately. Their score for that turn is the average of the two scores +2.

Slightly harder game: Time moves only in two directions: either left->right or right->left (not both), and either top->bottom or bottom->top (not both).