Development of a Social Skills Education Game for Elementary School Students

Yoshiko Okada, Toshiki Matsuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The latest Japanese National Curriculum emphasized the importance of active learning as well as communication skills in various subject areas. Following this trend, the social skills education (SSE) approach was adopted to promote and improve skills that facilitate interpersonal conflict resolution in elementary school students. Aim. This study developed a card game to help elementary school teachers perform SSE. The aims were to convince students to contemplate alternative solutions to problems in a way that incorporates suggestions from other students and to motivate children to think about problem solving in a social context. Methods. Our card game was developed based on Matsuda’s warp and woof model of problem-solving that emphasizes generating ideas concerning trade-off resolution in problem-solving. We then tested the game in a sample of 74 fourth grade (9-10 years old) elementary school students. Results. The findings suggest that the students understood the importance of considering new alternatives for trade-off resolution by playing our game. Conclusions. Despite the limitations of our study, such as the small sample size, our findings demonstrated that the game was successful in teaching most students the necessity of reaching a consensus in situations involving conflicting opinions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598-620
Number of pages23
JournalSimulation and Gaming
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1


  • card game
  • elementary school students
  • problem-solving
  • social skills
  • Social Skills Education (SSE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications


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