May 2009


Number of Players: 8 to ???

Grade Levels: Middle School and Up

Length: 20 to 30 Minutes

Curricular Connections: Storytelling, Characterization, Persuasive Language, Critical Listening, Deduction

Investment: Low
Return: High

A brief history of…. the werewolf!

Werewolf is derivative of the mafia party game created in 1986 by Dimma Davidoff at the Psychological Department of Moscow State University. The werewolf theme was applied in 1986 by Andrew Plotkin and the game has had subsequent publishing by various companies including: daVinci games, Looney Labs,  Mayfair Games, Asmodee Editions, and Bezíer Games. Publications of note for school libraries include the Asmodee Edition: Werewolves of Millers Hollow, which handles 8-18 players and the Bezíer Games version: Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition which handles 5-68 players. The Asmodee version has the most school appropriate art work on the cards while the Bezíer version easily handles a whole class and provides the best guidance for getting started and running the game.

Did you hear something?

Werewolf is a captivating social game in which players are secretly assigned roles that they must play out over the course of the game. The story is that werewolves have infiltrated a small country village, stealing away another victim each night. By day these creatures could be any one of the citizens, leaving the town no choice but to elect one member of its village to pay for the continuing atrocities. It is this act of nominating that lies at the heart of the game, as students use language and social interaction to help them accuse others and defend themselves. The game is over when either all of the villagers or werewolves have been removed from the game. (more…)


Well, the book is finished and off at the editors.  There may be some more work to tweek things, but “Libraries Got Game” is complete coming out in the fall from ALA Editions. I have to say a big THANKS to Chris Harris, my co-author for all of his help putting this book together. When I was first approached to write a book, I knew that I did not want to tackle it on my own. My newness to writing needed a seasoned hand to help craft what is a fantastic look at modern board games as educational resources.

Chris did a wonderful job of talking “big picture” and looking at the research, the history of games and bringing things together. My focus was extending my curriculum work, writing  about the games and their alignment, matching games with local state learning standards and providing connections to library and information skills. Additionally, I put together some great recommended games lists for elementary, middle and high school. Together, I think we have put together a really good resource for school libraries looking to expand their collection and include additional resources that can help engage students with learning.

I will keep everyone up to date with details of the books release when we have them. Plus I am sure there will be more to share in July at ALA. If you are interested in learning how to expand your resource collection to include games, please consider attending our ALA pre-conference Gaming in the School Library: Curriculum Aligned and Still Fun! We will be sharing so much of our work and experience, including: selection criteria, recommended lists of titles, advocacy and alignment tools and more. Of course, a preconference on games would not be complete without lots of hands-on time with the resources with discussions on implementation.

I hope to see you there and thank all of you for your support of gaming in the school environment.