Project Based Learning is a hot topic in primary school education at the moment.

You might want to consider a chess-based project in your school. Here are some ideas.


Chess has a lot of connections with maths: both the board and the pieces can be used for a wide range of mathematical investigations.


Chess offers a wide range of writing opportunities from the ability to write clear and concise instructions to composing stories based on games of chess. The nature of chess – battle, struggle or conflict, lends itself readily to writing imaginative fiction.


Children can learn the names of the pieces and other chess terms in different languages. If, as you almost certainly will, you have children who speak languages other than English at home in your class, ask them their words for the different chess pieces and terminology.


Children can study the history of chess from its origins in India, and investigate how the game spread to Europe, and then across the world. Of course you can also look at more recent chess history: the greatest players of the past 200 years.


History and geography are closely linked, so you can look at the history of chess in geographical terms. You can also find out the names of the strongest players in the world, and find out more about their home countries.


Chess is a scientific game and, to play well, you need to think like a scientist. To study chess at a higher level you also need to research like a scientist. You might also look at the properties of the different types of material which might be used to make chess sets and boards.


Chess offers fantastic opportunities for children to design and perhaps create their own chess sets. There’s a lot of scope for creative imagination here. There are many other ways you can link art and chess: paintings or drawing depicting chess games in various ways.


Children could look at musical depictions of chess and perhaps write their own music representing each chess piece, or perhaps even a complete game of chess.

These are just a few suggestions. If you’re interested in this subject I’d really recommend the great series of books written by Alexey Root. Buy them all and devise a great chess project for your school!

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