Monday, January 22, 2018

Electing A Pope (file folder game)

This game is free, however it is only to be used for classroom and personal use. It may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit. Reproduction or retransmission of any materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, is not permitted. All graphics/images/clipart etc. used on all activities are not my own and are from various internet sources.

Electing A Pope is based on the race game Tabula (from which was played by the Romans and ancient Greeks. It is believed to be the ancestor of backgammon and is derived from an older Roman game called Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum, the game of twelve lines. The Emperor Claudius (45 AD) was very fond of game and had a board attached to his chariot. The Emperor Zeno (circa 450 AD) wrote a book about the game and became famous for a disastrous throw which caused him to go from a strong position to a very weak one.

Electing A Pope: For 2 Players or 2 Teams

The idea is to answer questions about electing a pope so you can move your stones around the board. The goal is to move each stone along the 24-square path from the beginning to the end and remove the stone from the board. If the stone of one player lands on a square occupied by the stone of the opponent, the opponent’s stone is removed from the board and must start again. If a player has two or more pieces on a space the pieces on it cannot be captured. An exact throw is needed to remove a piece from the board. The winner is the player who removes all their stones from the board first.


15 playing pieces for each player (example: 15 blue and 15 red)
3 dice
Question Cards
Game Board

Set Up: This game can be played with 2 players or 2 teams. Shuffle the deck and place it face down in a small basket near the game board. Put an empty basket nearby for the discards.


Electing A Pope is played by two players on a board of 24 spaces which are in Roman numerals. Each player starts the game with 15 playing pieces (they all are a different color than the other player). All pieces enter at square 1 and travel counterclockwise. The game is played with three dice.

The starting player may be decided with the flip of a coin or by rolling the highest number with one die. The opponents make their moves by turns. To make a possible move you must answer a question (the other player draws a card and reads you the question) about electing a pope. If you are correct you may roll the dice and move one or some of your pieces (depending on what you roll). If you do not answer the question correctly, your turn is over.

The players take turns to throw three six-sided dice. The throw can be shared between pieces. For example, a throw of 2, 3, 4 could be used to move one piece by 9, two pieces by 5 and 4 (or 6 and 3 or 7 and 2), or three pieces by 2, 3 and 4. If a player lands on a space occupied by an opponent’s piece the opponent’s piece is removed from the board and must start again. If a player has two or more pieces on a space the pieces on it cannot be captured. An exact throw is needed to remove a piece from the board. A player must use the whole of his throw if possible. Any part of a throw that is unplayable is lost.

The winner is the player who is first to get all his pieces off the board.

Electing A Pope Game- Directions, Game Board, Title, Question Cards

*Playing pieces can be coins, colored buttons, game pieces from other games, fish rocks for the bottom of aquariums, craft foam cut into shapes, glass rocks for vases, etc. You can paint small objects such as rocks, small plastic tops or caps, etc. You can also buy pawns at game stores.

*You can also use a large circle hole puncher and make your own game pieces using card stock, craft foam, etc.


Marilou said...

I love this game, my husband and I teach 5th grade religious ed. at SS. CYRIL AND METHODIUS catholic church in Lemont, IL.

One of the things the kids love to play is a game called 4 squares, the orginal game is they bounce a ball in a square. WE changed it for the kids to play religious wise. The 4 courners of the room are pre determined this courner is a, this corner is b etc. then we ask the questions that you provided the kids move to that corner of the room based on what they think their answer is cute to see them try to proswade each other. the right side of the room is true the left side is false. This game gets them up and moving and then when they are wrong they sit down. It is fast and it keeps the kids moving, and some games go on, and some are over quickly. We do this for chapter tests, to prepare for the test. Some kids just follow the crowd but others know their chapter and win on the first question. Thank you for giving us questions to try with them. I just love your questions. and your blog!

Kelly M. said...

I'm going to link to this great game/post in a post I wrote that compiled various educational resources for the coming Papal election. I know my kids are going to enjoy it for sure!

Amazing_Grace said...

Marilou- Thank you!

I love your 4 square game! Thank you for sharing! :)

Amazing_Grace said...

KMantoan- I hope your kids enjoy the game and learn a lot! :)

Unknown said...

Great idea!! I will post about it next week at

Blessed Lent!

Amazing_Grace said...

Thanks Xhonane Olivias!

I bet you are planning on doing something for the election of the pope. You always have great ideas! :)