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Life Sized Life Course Game in South Dakota

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to give a life course workshop in Pierre, South Dakota for over 230 members of the Department of Public Health. My host, Barb Hemmelmen, is a very creative woman and kind host. We tried very hard to find enough games for such a large crowd. When that didn’t work, she and her 11 & 13 year old daughters made a life size board. The first hour of the workshop was a complete review of the life course theory with some examples and resources. I’m working on scripting that slide set and will make it available to Every Woman Southeast partners soon. After a break, we played the game as a group – talking about it a bit as we went. Everyone in the audience had a copy of the full board in front of them and their ‘assignement’ to a particular piece and what that color piece represented. When players landed on the red cards Barb read their fate. I read the green cards. Playing the game with real people was fun and brought laughter and definitely moans when people landed on certain places or received certain risk cards. When we were done with the game we asked people in the audience to get into groups of 3-4 and talk about a series of questions. We then heard back from different groups and closed with a brainstorming session for next steps for South Dakota. While we still recommend playing this game in small groups, the life sized version worked very well in this large group setting. I think we can expect to see great things coming from South Dakota!

Here is a picture of one part of the game. You can see the red and green squares.

Here is another view. We laid it out so the players walked across the front of the room.

These are the wonderful “game pieces” – all supervisors from the South Dakota Dept of Public Health.
Barb – the designer and mastermind is in the blue jacket.

The “death scene” of the game – finding out everyone’s fate.

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