Teaching Students About the History of Monopoly

Monopoly is a popular board game that has been enjoyed by families and friends for over a century. The game is known for its competitive nature, where players buy, trade and build properties to become the richest person on the board. However, what many people may not know is the fascinating history behind this game.

The story of Monopoly began in the early 1900s, when a woman named Elizabeth Magie created a board game called The Landlord’s Game. The game’s objective was to expose the flaws in the American tax system and show why it was unfair to homeowners. Players would buy and sell properties, but instead of accumulating wealth, they would pay taxes, rent and mortgage.

After years of playing The Landlord’s Game in different versions, Charles Darrow, an unemployed salesman, became interested in the game. He made a few adjustments to the game, such as introducing the famous “Go to Jail” corner and the use of Monopoly money, and eventually started selling it to friends and family.

In 1935, Parker Brothers, a famous American game company, bought the rights to Monopoly and made it into a global phenomenon. Over the years, the game has expanded with various editions that reflect different cultures, themes and movies.

Teaching students about the history of Monopoly can offer insights into the beginnings of board games and the role they played in society. The history provides an interesting perspective on social issues and how they can be conveyed through games. The story also sheds light on the power of entrepreneurship, as Darrow used his creativity to turn an idea into a profitable business.

The history of Monopoly can be explored through a range of materials such as articles, documentaries, interviews, and podcasts. Teachers can incorporate these resources into lessons on subjects such as economics, history, social studies or game design. Students can also create their versions of Monopoly, based on their interests or community.

In conclusion, the history of Monopoly is a compelling story that highlights the power of creativity, entrepreneurship and activism. Teaching students about the origins of this iconic board game can provide valuable insights into the development of board games, society and culture. So, the next time you play Monopoly, remember the fascinating history behind it.

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