Attribution: Ryan Hyde https://www.flickr.com/photos/breatheindigital/4954416690

“Can I tell my mom that you taught us how to gamble today?”

I laughed.  “Can’t wait to field that phone call,” I retorted.

But what started as a sudden idea for an easy game because an immediate hit in my classroom this week.  It’s the True/False Gamble.

We use the Classcraft app in our classroom each day, and students earn four types of points:  XP (Experience Points, which is how they level up in the game and earn the right to purchase more pets, clothing, and weapons for their avatars); HP (Health Points, which is what they lose in our battles, and if they lose too much, they “die” in the game and face a consequence); AP (Action Points, to use their powers, such as listening to music or making hot chocolate for their team); and GP (Gold points, which they use to purchase more clothing and weapons.)


It might sound confusing, the gamers understand it immediately and the non-gamers catch on pretty quickly.

Anyway, I’ve often received requests to earn more HP or AP rather than the usual XP or GP that I usually offer. So, I created the T/F Gamble, where students can wager for whatever type of points they’d like.

Setting it up was easy. Using Google Slides, I wrote a statement using a vocabulary word–some true and some false.  I made sure to write at least one slide for each student in the class.

Then, I would select students at random (I keep popsicle sticks with students’ names on them). Before they saw the T/F statement, they had to make their wager.  Once they made their bet, I revealed the statement and they gave the answer.  If correct, they earned the wager.  If not, that’s what they lost.

Pretty basic and simple, really, but the students really enjoyed it.  Plus, it forced some of them to think critically.  If they’d just levelled up, they needed to beware of wagering too much XP and then dropping a level. Since there is a cap on how much AP and HP they may have at one time, they needed to think about how much to wager. For example, if their character had only 20 HP and couldn’t earn over a max of 30 HP, then wagering 15 HP is a waste, for they could only earn 10 HP before they maxed out.

Below I’ve linked my slides.  I also modified the game for my college composition students. Instead of T/F, I made an Active/Passive game.  For British Literature, I made a Beowulf T/F gamble.