‘Game Based Learning’ does not have to refer to only video games. I recently oraganised a small World War II 28mm tabletop game the year 6 at my local primary school who were learning about the war. Before the game I explained about the Atlantic Wall and why the Allies had to invade France, this gave the game some context as I had designed a small scenario where the British were ordered to capture a fictional village in Normandy in order to secure their supply lines. Unknown to the British, the Germans were actually guarding a V1 which provided a good opportunity to talk about the V1 and its effect on the London.
I also gave the children a map on which they had to discuss and draw their plan of attack, or defence, before the game. They also had a set of questions to answer based on the models, for example, the difference between soldiers uniforms and tank identifaction symbols.
Feedback from the teacher after the game was very positive, The children had learned a lot in a short amount of time (45 minutes), because the knowledge was important to the game and helped them understand why such small events could be so important. It was very impressive watching the panic amoungst the children playing the British when the otherside manouvered their Panther into a position to ambush their small Cromwell tank, and then to see the teamwork coming into play as they discussed all the possible solutions. It was also interesting to see the girls leading the discussions.