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The Constitution Quest Game

The Constitution Quest Game

Educating Americans One Game at a Time

The Constitution Quest GameThe Constitution Quest Game was created and designed by David Barret, Pam Barret and Joel Barret in 2010 to increase Constitutional Literacy in America.  As a family of teachers, the Barrets wanted to provide a fun, easy, and effective way to learn the Constitution and agreed that no matter what age, people love games.  It is their belief that “unless Americans improve their Constitutional IQ, we could be in danger of losing our republic as we know it.”  David, Pam and Joel wanted to revive the minds of America to know and understand the Constitution, as it is relevant today as it was the day it was signed in 1787.  They added, “We the People, need to read the Constitution and know what it says, in order to ensure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our children.”  This game (proudly made in the USA) is a favorite amongst the homeschooling community but has grown in popularity as it is being used in schools and making headlines in media.  Pam describes Constitution Quest as “the most fun and easy way to learn and remember the text of the U.S. Constitution.”  Their passion to pass on the love for and knowledge of the U.S. Constitution to our children and grandchildren for generations to come is what inspired The Constitution Quest Game.     

Constitution Quest is unique from other educational games on the market because the makers wove proven learning strategies into every aspect of the game.  Pam says, “The game board is literally a graphic organizer, each turn provides immediate feedback and opportunity to repeat the correct information, thus reinforcing the learning.”  In addition, there is opportunity for application of the Checks and Balances through the Wild Cards, and the elements of chance, which makes game play especially engaging for teams.  The Constitution Quest GameThe basic premise of the game is simple – as each player moves along the game pathway, they will encounter opportunities to draw cards and answer questions to accumulate points.  The great thing is that you do not have to be a history whiz to win because the point of The Constitution Quest Game is to learn as you play.  The game comes with 223 game cards, separated into five card deck categories; The Executive Branch, The Legislative Branch, The Judicial Branch, Founders & Facts, and the Quest Cards. The game cards cover content that players read aloud to each other in a test-taking multiple-choice format with various answer choices (except for the Quest cards which are true/false questions).  They also integrated the element of chance to heighten the excitement while reinforcing the game. The game comes with an answer key, dice, and a scoring pad, but the treasure for any history buff will be the copy of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence that is included.   For 2 to 10 players, you can even partner up, making the game more intense and fun. 

The Constitution Quest GameThe Barrets put an incredible amount of thought into the game play, appearance and each question as well as the distractor answers on each game card.  The thought and consideration they put into many of the question cards is evident when you consider the “distractor” answer that looks mostly correct, but is actually not the best answer.  Pam adds, “In some cases, we used this to help disabuse people of common misconceptions regarding the Constitution.  With other cards, we used this strategy for the sake of developing the logical skill of correctly identifying the truth or error of what is stated as well as of what is assumed or implied.”  It was also important that they create a beautiful and functional piece of art, as The Constitution Quest Gameevidently shown from the well-designed game board with rich colors of red, white, blue and gold pathways and realistic artwork.  The game board is aesthetically beautiful and organized as it showcases a visual representation of the U.S. government.  The details make all the difference as the Barrets focus on teaching the big picture, including the Constitutional Signers who sacrificed so much.  The game pays tribute to the signers by having each player pick from the 10 historical signers as their game piece in addition to having the chance to answer questions from the “Facts and Founders” deck.

Their favorite thing about Constitution Quest is that they LOVE that parents, students, and teachers are learning and remembering the text of the Constitution through their 100% American-Made, non-partisan Constitution Quest game.  The company found that even The Constitution Quest Gamegrandparents are spreading Constitutional Literacy through the game as they are told numerous times by grandparents that their grandchildren won’t listen to them read the Constitution, but will play this game.  In addition, this year more schools are using Constitution Quest in their classrooms or holding Constitution Quest Game nights.  Teachers claim that students are learning and remembering the Articles and Amendments in such a fun and engaging way with this game while students claim they are passing government exams because of Constitution Quest.  The Barrets very honored that 7 Constitutional Scholars have endorsed their game.

Since this is such a fun and educational game, we felt compelled to share a bit about the mastermind authors and designers behind it.  Pam Barret has a deep passion for literacy as she has networked with parents, grandparents and teachers from all over the country to promote literacy. Having earned her teaching credential in 1977, she later became an instructional coach to train teachers in hopes of impacting children beyond her school in Murrieta, CA.  She was named The National Right to Read Foundation Teacher of the Year in 1998. Pam also worked as a consultant for the Riverside County Office of Education in addition to other educational products and entities. She has been married to David Barret since 1978 and they are parents to 5 children and treasure any opportunity to chase their 5 grandchildren in their backyard in Temecula, CA.  David Barret has over 30 years in general and Special Education teaching as his passion for teaching students to read has changed the lives of students across a broad range of abilities.  David has a Master’s Degree in counseling.  He was also a college baseball player and a 1979 San Francisco Giants signee, and later a high school baseball head coach where he won a 1988 California Southern Section Coach of the Year Award in addition to other awards. Over a dozen of his former ballplayers have signed professional contracts, with three having played in the major leagues. Yet, he is most proud of the many former student instructional aids that now have a career in the education field helping children with special needs. 

As for Joel Barret, he is Pam and Dave’s eldest son, was a National Merit Scholar, studied political science and communication studies at Baylor University where he graduated with honors, and has a Master’s Degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.  A jack of all trades, he has helped develop several education games, worked in sales, process engineering and training for various industries, and writes in his spare time.  He serves as a Captain in the Army National Guard.  Him and his wife raise and homeschool their four kids in Murrieta, California.  The Barrets love hearing stories about Constitution Quest from their customers.  For example, a gentleman from Colorado told them that the game was the highlight of a family reunion in Oklahoma.  Apparently, his relatives of all political stripes sat down to play, yet their anxiety was greatly reduced because they were able to play in teams and refer to the easy-to-use answer key.

So how did they come up with the format and object of the game?  First off, they have always created games and used educational games to teach and reinforce learning in classrooms.  They literally wrote questions on color-coded sticky notes and pasted them all over their bedroom wall to make sure they had all the Articles and Amendments covered!  The Constitution Quest GamePam shares, “We drew our game board with markers and crayons and selected photographs to enhance the board and enhance learning.  Then we had a graphic artist perfect the lines and color according to our design and specifications.”  They ultimately wanted the game to honor the document.  Afterwards, their game was thoroughly field tested by students ages 10 − 84 for engagement, game format and time-frame, and learning.  Also, they designed one round of Constitution Quest to be completed within 35-45 minutes to ensure optimum engagement at home or at school.  In the classroom, they planned for the game to be set up, played (whole class in teams), content covered during the game play reviewed, and cleaned-up of the game within a class period.

In the next five years, they would like to see Constitution Quest in every school in the country.  When the Barrets began the process over four years ago, they never dreamed how expensive it would be or all the hoops they would have to jump through to produce a game in the USA.  Pam says, “However, we made the commitment to create a high-quality, American-made product that would help adults and students learn and remember the Constitution –our precious founding document that The Constitution Quest Gameprotects the God-given rights of every American.”  The team plans to eventually introduce additional education resources, including games.  What other game will actually teach you about the Bills of Rights, the Articles and Amendments, checks and balances, and the three branches of government while making it fun?  For purchase, the game is available in three presidential libraries (Nixon, Reagan, and James Madison's Montpelier), as well as many mom and pop shops around the country as they have sold games in all 50 states.  The game can also be ordered directly from their website at constitutionquest.com

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