Target Audience: Families with children K-2
Subjects/Skills: English Language Arts (Informational Text), Social Studies, and Alaska Native Values
Playing games as a family not only builds relationships, but can also be educational. As children learn and follow game rules, take turns, play as a team, make decisions, and discuss what’s going on, they gain literacy, social studies, and social-emotional skills.
Inspired by the MOLLY OF DENALI™ characters and aligned to the Common Core State Standards for informational text, the MOLLY OF DENALI Family Games are a suite of non-digital games that help children understand and use informational text, deepen their understanding of targeted social studies concepts, and develop an appreciation for Alaska Native culture and values.
The games include four board games, an outdoor game, a storytelling game, a card game, and a BINGO game to play while watching any MOLLY OF DENALI episode. The games are geared toward families with children in grades K-2 (but are fun for the whole family!) and promote engagement around informational text (text whose primary purpose is to convey information) and social studies. As families learn about Molly, her community, and Alaska Native values, they are encouraged to reflect on their own family history and culture. The games reinforce literacy; strengthen social studies content knowledge; give families the opportunity to practice and hone problem-solving and critical thinking skills; and provide ways that kids, friends, and families can have fun together.
A MOLLY OF DENALI Family Guide includes game instructions, which also highlight the informational text connection in each game, handouts, background on the characters, and information on Alaska Native culture and values.
GBH Education iteratively developed these games in collaboration with a team of parents/caregivers, public media education staff, Alaska Native collaborators and literacy experts.
You can find more MOLLY OF DENALI educational resources, including lesson plans, on PBS LearningMedia.
An evaluation conducted by the University of Nevada-Reno found that: playing the MOLLY OF DENALI Family Games increased children’s knowledge of informational text and targeted social studies concepts; and families increased the amount of time they played together.
In partnership with public broadcasters, schools and libraries, including those in Indigenous communities, GBH Education has distributed over 8,500 MOLLY OF DENALI Family Games sets.
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