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Board Games

The Comprehension Zone – Rocket Rap
By Bonnie Terry, M.Ed.

Published by Bonnie Terry Learning • 238 Poet Smith Drive, Auburn, CA.  95603 • 530-888-7160 - Available at


By Linda K. Foster

Once again, Bonnie Terry, M.Ed., an educator with over 30 years’ experience teaching regular education and special education students, has succeeded in developing an educational game offering an exciting and entertaining approach to education. The Comprehensive Zone-Rocket Rap is a fun way for kids of all ages to build reading and auditory comprehension and study skills while learning about science and historical figures. 

Using a vinyl game board, players learn about outer space, American and International biographies, while attempting to be the first to move along the rocket’s path from Saturn to the Space Station. Three sets of game cards are included and are divided by age group.  2nd and 3rd grade level players learn about outer space, 4th through 6th grade players learn about American biographies, and 7th through 12th grade players learn about International biographies. A truly exciting aspect of this game, and one that is found in many of the games developed by Bonnie Terry, is that all grade levels can play simultaneously. For families with multiple children, this approach to education can be a lifesaver.  Also important, is that the game is self-correcting so everyone succeeds every time s/he plays.

Rocket Rap is geared for ages 7 to adult and can be played on an individual basis (2 to 4 persons) or by two to four (2-person) teams. Players use provided playing cards to find the Main Idea and Details of paragraphs and move their game pieces along the rocket’s path. The first player to reach the Space Station is the winner.

Before starting the game, players are provided with clearly-written definitions of “Main Idea” and “Details”, the two primary concepts to be learned during game play, and with well-written instructions for play. The game is then played in four levels, each level building on the previous level. In Level One, players learn to find Details in each selection read. The front of each game card offers an age-appropriate paragraph and the back of each card provides the Main Idea and 4 Details that can be found in the paragraph. Players read the paragraph aloud and must then give two Details from the paragraph and use each Detail in a complete sentence. If they need assistance, they can refer to the back of the card for a Detail and must then use that Detail in a complete sentence. Once correct Details and complete sentences are given, the player rolls the die and moves his/her game piece the appropriate number of squares.  Although players are penalized one number on the die if they require assistance determining Details, they are still allowed to roll the die and move their game piece along the rocket’s path.   

Rocket Rap is particularly appealing because it encourages flexibility and creativity in the learning process.  While each card offers four Details found in the paragraph, the game allows for the possibility that others exist. If a player expresses a Detail that is not listed and is able to prove it in the paragraph, he/she can roll the die and move along the game board. Unlike many other games, players are not locked into using the provided answers.    They are able to improve their reading comprehension skills and build their critical thinking skills at the same time.

In Level Two, players attempt to determine the Main Idea from the paragraph. Again, players must determine the Main Idea and express it in a complete sentence in their own words. In Level Three, players must determine both the Main Idea and two Details and in Level Four, players sharpen their skills in sequencing. Level Four requires players to read passages consisting of 3, 4 or 5 paragraphs and to properly put the paragraphs in sequential order. As with the other Levels, players are allowed the option of assistance with minor penalties. Each level is played as a separate game with a separate winner.  Levels can be played sequentially or individual levels can be repeated as often as desired.

Bonnie Terry truly understands the importance of making education an enjoyable process and The Comprehension Zone – Rocket Rap is added proof that this idea works. Rocket Rap is an excellent way to improve reading comprehension and study skills and is a valuable source of educational fun for any age group. For additional information on this game, please visit L.F.

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