Game review: Play for the Planet (ELi Publishing)

Here’s another resource from the giant box I was sent from ELi publishing. I saved reviewing this one until I actually had a good reason to try it out. My teens are studying the natural world / the environment at the moment, so it’s perfect timing…

Play for the Planet is a ‘culture and CLIL’-focused board game. The language goal for the resource is to review and practice environment related vocabulary.

The game consists of…

  • Playing board (100 spaces)
  • 60 photo cards (pics related to recycling and waste)
  • 72 question cards
  • A cardboard die (I mean dice – I always find that singular form weird…)
  • Instructions

Game play

The game play is just your standard ‘first person to the end’ board game. You answer questions along the way to keep going, or land on the move forward/back spaces.

The photo cards are dealt out at the start of the game. If you land on one of the recycling bin squares, you must offer up a photo card that matches the recycling type, or your go ends. Example:

Lol, some great vocab in there… ‘jerrycan’ and ‘rubble’ were my favourites!

The questions

The game is aimed at levels A2-B1. The difficulty of the questions varies, from the fairly obvious to the ‘I’ve no idea’. This is actually quite good in practice, because good English alone won’t help – you need a bit of luck or general knowledge too.

Example of a simple question:

What’s the best type of water for watering your garden?

  1. Tap water
  2. Bottled mineral water
  3. Rainwater

Example of a difficult one:

What year was the first UN conference on the Human Environment?

  1. 1962
  2. 1972
  3. 1982

(I would just go for B, right?)

Overall, the questions are pretty good. They bring up some useful vocab, sometimes prompt discussion, and can also be a good springboard for research.

One example was a question that left me and the students a bit confused – apparently you can’t recycle ‘crystal glass’. The playing cards could have done with a bit of info about why, but the fact that they didn’t led to some googling.

*Digital literacy, tick* (hehe)

General points

With 72 questions, you can certainly play the game a few times. The photo cards can be used for various other things like guessing games or ‘shopping list’ type activities if you’re teaching lower levels. The vocab is quite broad-ranging – it covers recycling, renewable energy, organic agriculture, food, UN conventions, and so on.

I can’t find a definitive price for this product online. It’s on Amazon for $25 (too much) although I’d imagine you’d buy this game as part of a set from the publisher. The have plenty of other games available on their site (click here).

Verdict

Pretty good. Not as limited as I had expected, and the resources can be reused and/or repurposed. Useful for CLIL classrooms. General student feedback (B1) was positive, and they said ‘we’d like to write more questions for the game’, so there’s life in it yet!

4/5

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