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People, Places, Checkmates: Teaching Social Studies with Chess Paperback – March 23, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1591588504 ISBN-10: 1591588502

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People, Places, Checkmates: Teaching Social Studies with Chess + Thinking with Chess: Teaching Children Ages 5-14 + The Living Chess Game: Fine Arts Activities for Kids 9-14
Price for all three: $63.77

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Libraries Unlimited (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591588502
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591588504
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,474,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


• Uses chess as a theme to connect different times and places

• Provides fun, easy-to-teach lesson plans that cover important historical figures and events

• Helps educators and librarians prepare students to succeed in University Interscholastic League (UIL) Chess Puzzle

• Gives students the opportunity to solve famous chess problems, such as one written by a 9th-century Arabic writer, one that might have caused the recall of Christopher Columbus, and one studied by Thomas Jefferson

• Addresses the National Council for the Social Studies standards for grades 4–8

• 25 reproducibles, such as letters home to parents and worksheets

• 15 photographs of famous chess players and of students playing chess

• 28 chess diagrams and 7 examples of student work

• A chronology of chess from ancient times to the present

• A glossary of 90 chess terms from past and present, such as chatrang and en passant

"The concept is clever. . . . An exercise based on Benjamin Franklin's 'morals of chess,' a list of golden rules to be observed while playing the game, is also fascinating, as are studies of famous chess players and foreign chess terms."



Book Description

Chess has been played and influenced by Silk Road traders, medieval nobility, U.S. political leaders, and ordinary citizens of many nations. There is even a musical called Chess, illustrating the clash of freedom and state control during the Cold War. Tracing chess through history teaches students about other times, places, and cultures, helping them see patterns of continuity and change.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Wow- I am introducing my world history class to chess this year and was very excited about this book. The author says they were a teacher but these are the most cumbersome lesson plans I've ever read. The author goes into long explanations that point you to other sources. For lesson 3 the materials and sources is 3 paragraphs long. "to correctly mark Baghad (Iraq), Merv (Mary, Turkmenistan) (4 more cities with 2 names)... On your chalk or dry- erase board, look up those cities in Silk Road Seattle (Neelis, 2002). The cities are in a line sloping gently northeast (from Baghdad to Dunhuang) and then the line turns southeast ( from Dunhuang to Chang'an). Three of the cities... are closer to each other than to the other cities. Etc. etc.". Really? The author couldn't have sketched a map for us to follow? Then exercise 2 which is also labeled 2.5, says to look for the solution in Appendix A. The answer comes on the page before the answer to 2.1. Appendix A is difficult to follow and read. The copies of student work are poor copies of work done in pencil and difficult to read. I will add it to my book shelf as a resource but will be counting on myself to write my curriculum.
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More About the Author

My name is Alexey W. Root. I have a Ph.D. in education from UCLA. I was the 1989 U.S. Women's Chess Champion. I have the "Woman International Master" title awarded by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). I am available to give presentations about the topics covered in my books. Please contact me on Facebook or at As a Senior Lecturer for The University of Texas at Dallas, I teach online, college-credit, chess curriculum courses. Please see Earlier in my career, I taught social studies and English in secondary schools. In public and private K-12 schools, after-school programs, recreation centers, camps, university courses, and private lessons, I have taught chess to over 2500 people.

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People, Places, Checkmates: Teaching Social Studies with Chess
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