LATIN Clue, for Exam Review

Clue is a traditional board game that challenges players to solve a murder mystery by using deductive reasoning and process of elimination to determine the murderer, the murder weapon, and the location of the murder. Players receive cards representing the possibilities in the murder scenario (suspect, weapon, crime scene). Cards representing the actual murder scenario will be removed from the deck and placed in a separate envelop at the beginning of the game (to be revealed at the end of the game). Players roll the dice to advance into the rooms within the Clue mansion, where they will suggest a weapon, suspect, and crime scene. When challenged by a “suggestion,” players must privately show cards to the player who made the suggestion. Latin Clue keeps these traditional elements, but shifts to team collaboration and adds in content questions. See the comparisons in the table below:

Classic Clue Board Game Latin Clue
Weapons ·      Revolver

·      Knife

·      Rope

·      Candlestick

·      Lead pipe

·      Wrench

Roman Weapons:

·      Mace

·      Javelin

·      Gladius Hispaniensis (two-edged sword)

·      Amphorae (pottery jars designed to hold liquids)

·      Marble bust of a Caesar

·      Bronze figure of Venus.

Game space ·      Square game board with floor plan of house printed on it.

·      Players roll dice to determine the number of floor tiles they will advance (short-term goal is to get into one of the rooms)

·      Secret passageways exist between some rooms.

·      Whiteboard projection showing the map of ancient Rome, which is overlaid with a path (game spaces) connecting all of the ancient locations.

·      Roll of the dice would allow players to advance toward one of the historic sites.

·      Secret underground passageways exist between places


Crime Scenes Rooms in the house:

·      Kitchen

·      Hall

·      Study

·      Dining room

·      Billiard room

·      Conservatory

·      Library

·      ball room

·      lounge


Roman Places:

·      The Roman Colosseum

·      The Pantheon

·      Campus Martius

·      Baths of Diocletian

·      The Roman Forum

·      Palatine Hill (House of Augustus)

·      Temple of Saturn

·      Baths of Caracalla

·      The Arch of Constantine


game pieces

·      Miss Scarlet

·      Colonel Mustard

·      Professor Plum

·      Mr. Green

·      Mrs. White

·      Mrs. Peacock

Historical Figures of Rome:

·      Emperor Julius Caesar

·      Emperor Marcus Aurelius

·      Virgil (author/poet)

·      Octavia (first wife of Marcus Antonius)

·      Cleopatra (not Roman, but important to Roman history),

·      Theodora (wife of Justinian).

Magnetic game pieces that have the busts of the characters will be used on the whiteboard that the image is projected on, so players can physically advance their piece.

Players/teams Traditional players:

·      One player per game piece

·      Game piece represents them throughout the game

·      Roll dice

·      Navigate the game board

·      Take guesses (make a “suggestion)

Teams of three to five learners select a single game piece to represent their team.

Upon entering a historic location, the team selects question category (Latin language or Roman history); they will answer the question together, quiz bowl style. A correct answer allows them to make a suggestion, if they wish.

Teams will collaborate, represent a single entity.


The Learning Values

  • Learning goals
      • The game will be used for middle school Latin mid-term or final exam review. Encountering the weapons, historic locations, and characters in a historic setting reinforces previous learning, while quiz bowl questions review Latin language and Roman history content. For another option, students could be asked to research and propose the list of weapons, historic locations, and characters (which would allow them to have more review).
      • The game requires problem-solving skills, situated in a historic setting
      • Traveling from one ancient location to another provides a great backdrop for reviewing Roman history. In addition, adding the quiz-bowl type questions (Latin language or Roman history) adds to this creative and fun review (a sort of productive play).
      • Working in a team provides peer coaching/scaffolding by distributing the performance requirement throughout the group.
  • Criteria for successful instruction
      • Authentic settings and roles for players
  • Instructional Methods
      • When giving a wrong answer, the team loses a turn, but continues play, while receiving corrective feedback (the correct answer). The consequences are appropriate; the penalty is embedded in the game play (like missing an exam question, but finishing the test).
      • The game has interesting challenges that have been optimized to reflect the learner’s coursework.
      • Cooperative play provides practical collaboration among learners
  • The Vision of the Game
    • Learning goals: learners will review previously presented information; they will work together as a team to answer questions pertaining to Latin language and Roman history (collaboration provides embedded scaffolding)
    • The game will allow students to be temporarily immersed in Roman culture, bringing the “dead language” to life, in a natural and authentic way
    • Feedback
      • Natural consequences: missing an answer will delay their progress through the game
      • Explanations:when a question is missed, all of the teams will hear the correct answer from the teacher, so that everyone benefits from the feedback
      • Debriefing: learners will debrief, together at the end of the game
      • Immediate Feedback: Learners benefit from feedback by both the teacher and their teammates.
    • The competitive spirit of the game will motivate learners extrinsically. Intrinsic motivation will come as a result of increased enjoyment of Roman culture and team collaboration.
  • The Game Space 
    • See details in table, describing rules of game, players, game pieces, technology (whiteboard, computer projection)
    • The narrative of the game, the “work” that must be done by the players requires learners to embrace the study of Latin language and Roman History in order to succeed in the game
    • Design decisions mean to create an excitement and acceptance of a subject which often overwhelms some students and bores others; Latin comes alive when the stakes are raised by the game
  • The Instructional Space
    • Teams allow students to collaborate over difficult material, working at the edge of their ZPD (Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development)
    • Students get “Just-in-Time Instruction” during the game which can help them to identify and eliminate weaknesses in the subject matter (this is for a test, after all!)
    • The teacher will be the “coach in the classroom,” providing additional learner scaffolding


Reigeluth, C. M., Beatty, B. J., & Myers, R. D. (2017). Instructional-Design Theories and Models (Vol. IV). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Pratt, A. E. (1996). Clue: Classic Detective Game. Beverly, MA.: Parker Brothers.


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