The Asia East Pacific Rim class made modified board games to show the caste order in India and show their knowledge of the class on Monday.

In Will Plumb’s Asia East Pacific Rim History class, the class is going through continents in Asia one by one starting with India. The class is learning about the Indian caste system or social order and each individual “Varna” or class.

The class played an edited version of the card game Love Letter using Indian classes of the caste system, helping them understand the caste system and culture of India.

Mandy Hill, the student teacher of the class thought it was a great idea to incorporate a simple game to understand this culture, so she came up with a project for students to get in groups and make modified versions of other games like monopoly and incorporate those ideas in them.

“I came up with it because Plumb had created a version of the game “Love Letters” for the Varna system, and I thought it really helped students see those different levels, because it can be hard to understand that hierarchy.” Mandy Hill said

“I wanted to take it a step further and allow students to have a creative piece because sometimes when you have fun assignments it allows you to connect to that material we’re learning about.” Hill said.

continuing that being able to apply what you know to assignments and real world situations is a useful skill.

Plumb and Hill gave students a full class week to modify a game of their choosing with a group, and write a paper explaining their relation and reasoning to show they know what they’re talking about.

“From what I’m seeing, I see kids really enjoying it [the project] not really struggling with it, the thing they’re kind of struggling with is making a good game. Making a good game is hard” Plumb said when discussing difficulties with the project.

“In creating the game they have to show their understanding of the Varnas, its impacts and how it functions in Indian society at the time” Plumb said, about requirements.

The students also have a writing piece to show that they can illustrate and represent the Varna system with what they created but explain why what they created explains the system and their knowledge.

The writing piece also helps with their applying skill and showing both Hill and Plumb where they’re at with the course and capability.

Another struggle brought up was how many castes/classes to use, some of the readings they have had exclude the “Dalits” and “Pariahs” because in some reading they are interpreted as outside the caste system.

“Those are actually better struggles because it becomes a problem-solving exercise making the game more authentic” Plumb said about the struggles faced by students.

Hill brought up rampant sickness and sports for being a roadblock, especially for this being a group project.

Thursday students got to play other groups games and show them to other students and receive peer reviews and started their project Monday and had till Friday to complete them.