16 Issaquah Pioneer Life Game

Competencies: Social Studies, Economics

Economics 2.2: Understands how economic systems function.

CBA: Humans and the Environment

CBA: Meeting Needs and Wants


Objective: Students choose an occupation specific to Issaquah’s history and experience the joys and difficulties of pioneer life as they play a game.

Materials: The Issaquah Pioneer Game, four game pieces, related photos, shoe-lasts, coal, coal miner’s hat, railroad spike, quilt square, homemade soap, washboard, rug beater, and hops, Photo Prompts Power Point (Work section).


  • Ask students what jobs they think the early pioneers in Issaquah had.  Share photos and objects in the kit that are associated with logging, coalmining, work at home, dairy farming, hops, railroad depot master, and shoe repair, and teacher with their class.
  • Show students the “Work” section in the photo prompts slide show.
  • Explain that early pioneers had many different jobs, but four of the jobs named were the primary, early careers of Issaquah.
  • Introduce “The Issaquah Pioneer Game.”
  • Discuss possible occupation choices.
  • Explain the rules for the game.
  • In groups of four, children can take turns playing the game.  This can be set up as a learning center or an assigned activity.
  • When everyone in the class has had a chance to play the game, discuss what students learned about Issaquah’s past from playing the game.


1.  Invite a parent volunteer to come in and play this game with students.


Activity 16 (DOC)
Activity 16 (PDF)
Issaquah Pioneer Game board
Issaquah Pioneer Game instructions
Issaquah Pioneer Game cards
Photo Prompts slide show

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