Third Grade Cardboard Arcade Spotlights Chicago

Throughout the school year, 3rd graders have been making connections with their study of Chicago in ILIS class. The final project of the year connected Chicago history, innovation, cardboard and a lot of fun.

Students learned about the cool things invented in Chicago, from brownies and softball to roller derby and the cellphone! They also learned that Chicago is the home of the pinball machine. Students watched a short documentary film, Caine’s Arcade, about a young boy, Caine, who built a cardboard arcade in his father’s auto parts shop. Taking inspiration from Caine and the history of innovation in Chicago, 3rd graders designed and built their own cardboard arcade games.

Students worked in small groups, each with a different theme about Chicago, including the Chicago Bulls, Lake Shore Drive, the Field Museum and more. They worked together to plan, build, test and decorate their games made from cardboard, duct tape, egg cartons and other materials. Students built skeeball machines, claw machines, mini golf, basketball toss, table-top hockey and some completely new games.

As a culminating activity for this unit, the whole 3rd grade came to the Kovler Family Library for a Chicago Arcade Game Day. Students played all the games and earned tickets and prizes. 

The 3rd graders built amazing games, collaborated and iterated and had so much fun playing all the cool cardboard creations!

Click here for photos.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.