Big Battleship Library Game

students sitting on blue tarp to play battleship game in school library

Are you looking for a library game that lets your students have fun playing while they review what they’ve learned in your school library? Kylee Weber wrote this guest blog post, elaborating on the idea she originally shared in our Learning Librarians Facebook group. Here’s what she says…

The most talked about and favorite activity in the library last school year was Battleship.  The end of the school year needed something engaging, exciting, and encouraging that showed how much we learned  throughout the year.  Battleship is an engaging, outside of the box activity that keeps student attention at the time of the year where it is difficult to engage students. 

Setting up the Battleship Library Game

library game with students seated on blue tarp grid to play battleship

Want to bring this game of review and skill to your library or classroom? Here’s how to get started. First, measure out your area. (Measure better than I did! My middle tarp was WAY TOO big!)  You want a tarp that goes from ceiling to floor.  That tarp should hang all of the way to the floor so that each team cannot see the other team’s ships.  You also want two tarps for the floor which will be the grids for the ships. Students will be sitting on the grids as the ships.  You will need Duct tape to make the grids and you will also need letters and numbers to label the grids. 

Due to safety reasons and library usage, our middle tarp had to be hung up and taken down each day.  I was able to keep a ladder in my library space to be more efficient. 

Creating Teams for the Game

Students in school library watching review of battleship game rules on large screen

Once the tarps went up, teachers were curious but the students were able to fill them in on their library game when the class was picked up.  My district has four day weeks and I see six classes each day.  So once students enter my library, they know that they only have fifty-five minutes.  Students start at the carpet, where we normally read and, they watch the video review of how to play Battleship.  As they are watching, I count how many students are in attendance and split the number in half.  That allows me to know how many ships and the number of students per ship each team has.  Both teams have the same ships.  Any odd student out is Captain and is able to substitute if behavior arises or if any student is unable to regulate their emotions.

Seating Students on the Battleship Game Board

Once students are finished with the video and (strategically) split into teams, students will go to their side of the library game board and gather in their ship groups.  They will then find a grid next to the other parts of their ship and sit on the grid on the tarp on the floor.  At this point, nobody is allowed to talk or they will give away their coordinates.  When I notice they are ready to begin, we begin the questions which are projected on the board.

Review Questions for the Game

Review questions for library game

We did this cumulative review over all year library/media skills.  I made this Google Slides presentation with a great mix of questions covering the skills and stories we heard this school year.  Questions are color coded by the team color which matches the tape on the tarps. 

The kids answer a question, and if they get it right, they get to guess a coordinate for the other team’s ships.  If they don’t get it right, the other team has a chance to answer it and pick coordinates if answered correctly.  If both teams get it wrong then you review the question’s information. The teacher-librarian says if it is a hit or miss and it is marked on the middle tarp. The library game will continue until the ships are all sunk, all the questions are presented, or until class time runs out.

Make memories with your students and enjoy a well planned, engaging activity!

Many thanks to our guest blogger Kylee Weber from Warrenton, Missouri, who has been teaching in the elementary school setting for the last 19 years. She loves how this Battleship review game celebrates learning AND creates memories for her students. In 2022 she  received her Library Media Specialist Certification before taking on a K-5 library media position in Warrenton. She spends her free time acting in community theater, being involved in church activities and in her local Relay for Life.

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