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What do players learn?

While preparing for and playing Theme, the players learn to research a particular historical theme that varies from year to year and to prepare notes and study materials about that theme. Examples of past themes include “Women in World History,” “The 1960’s,” “The American West,” and “Space Exploration.” Players learn how the events in the theme affected people at the time and how those issues still affect them today. The knowledge gained from playing Theme leads to more informed and responsible future citizens.

Elementary Division (grades 4-6) questions are composed with easier language than for the Middle Division (grades 7-8). At the Junior and Senior Divisions (grades 9-12), the historical and political events referred to are more demanding.

How do you play?

Theme is a question and response game. Students sit in groups of three or four for purposes of checking each other’s answers and keeping score. Many such groups may be playing simultaneously in the same room.

There are two rounds for the Theme topics. One round is the Lightning Round. 18 questions are read by a central reader.  The point values of each question are determined ahead of time (2, 4 or 6). Players score the point value for a correct answer and zero (0) for an incorrect answer. Facts in the questions are not complex and players are expected to have studied the theme and to know these answers from memory. No outside resources are allowed during the competition.

The second round requires players to wager. In the Wager Round, 12 questions are read by a central reader. Before each question is read, players hear the topic of the question and are asked to wager either 6, 4 or 2 points depending on how confident they are in the category. If they answer correctly, they win the number of points wagered (6, 4, or 2). An incorrect answer will lose half the number of points wagered (-3, -2, or -1). All questions are multiple choice (A, B, C, or D). Each player also has TWO abstentions that may be used out of the twelve questions in this round. A player may abstain and accept a score of zero on a question, even after hearing the question and choices. No outside resources are allowed.

How do I get the game THEME?

Check the links here to view and print the Official Tournament Rules. Since the theme changes each year, there are no official study materials provided by AGLOA. However, for this year’s theme, the Social Studies Committee recommends War, Terrible War by Joy Hakim and history textbooks (AP and Houghton Mifflin) as study guides. Players are encouraged to visit their local library and to research other sources to prepare for competition.

Forms for use in tournaments may be printed from here.

The Official Tournament Rules are modified slightly every year based upon suggestions from member leagues and the national Social Studies Committee.

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