4 Classic Board Games That Are Perfect for the Classroom

Oct 26, 2023
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You probably have a few classic board games sitting unused somewhere in your home. Why not bring them to the classroom to spice up your teaching strategies this year?

Research has revealed that playing board games in the classroom or on family game nights helps children’s brain development. It also suggests that classic board games can help players build social skills and self-esteem and teach children about rules, competition, fair play, and values. So, brush off the dust and have some fun in your classroom with these timeless classic board games.


Even if you’re not a board game fanatic, you probably own Monopoly or know someone who does. A great way to use Monopoly in the classroom is to help teach students about math, finances, and negotiation.

Allowing students to play games with one another and reflecting on the strategies that lead to victories are relevant to many topics you teach in the classroom. Monopoly also has over 1,000 editions of the game to ensure you can suit students' interests in nearly any subject.


Risk has one goal: world domination. Players build armies, protect territories, and attack opponents.

As your students play, have them take a step back and analyze winning strategies. They’ll soon realize that to succeed at Risk, one needs to have diplomacy and negotiation skills. The game also touches on timing, odds, and long-term strategy. It may be useful when you need an engaging way to get students interested in geography and how geopolitics plays a role in major historical moments.


Scrabble may be one of the first board games that comes to mind when you think about bringing board games into the classroom. Scrabble players often become highly skilled at memorizing obscure terms and anagrams.

You can use Scrabble with your students to highlight vocabulary words or look up new terms in the dictionary. Scrabble can take English language arts education to the next level with its gamification by tapping into the competitive side of students.


Clue, the classic “whodunnit” murder-mystery board game, invites students to create and test hypotheses to guess the culprit, room, and weapon before other players. It’s a fun way for students to get in character and learn more about social interactions and alliances that can come about during gameplay.

Other Classic Board Games Can Work in the Classroom

The games listed above are classics, but just about any board game can be used in the classroom if you keep a few factors in mind:

Is this game age-appropriate?

As we mentioned above, classic board games can teach students important life skills while connecting them to classroom material, but you have to make sure you adapt the board games to be age-appropriate. Ensure your students are playing at a level that doesn’t become too frustrating for them.

What skills will this game develop in students?

Be able to identify and explain what skills students will develop if they were to play this game day in and day out.

How can we further the discussion of students’ strategies?

Every student will love game day, but consider how you can make sure students can identify or explain their thinking and reasoning as they play.

Looking for more ideas that will keep students engaged in the classroom? Check out how these educators use Study Island’s game-based Group Sessions to keep students engaged in the classroom.

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