If you take the title literally, any game that makes you think can be considered a brain teaser. Pick a subject. It can be math, science, art or any one of a dozen other categories. But there is one brain teaser in particular that deals with history and people. It's called the "Who I Am" or "Who Am I?" and it's a brain teaser that is challenging, stimulating and above all fun. And if it matters - it's free!
Here's how it works: you can choose any topic from nine categories that are split up between United States history and World History. Here are a few categories to give you an idea: African-American history, environmental history, government and politics, inventions and technology, social and cultural history and women's history just to name a few. Each category has a list of sub-topics to choose from. So let's say under African-American History you choose "Abolition". Now let the Who I Am game begin! Within the sub-topic of "Abolition" you get the first clue: "Slavery wasn't confined to the South. Our mystery subject was born a slave in the North".
Now it's up to you to come up with an answer so you can tell Who I Am. To make things a bit easier, the player will find a space for the answer, which in this case is two words of 9 and 5 letters respectively. If you think you have the correct answer, you type it in and hit enter and find out if it's correct. If it's not, you can select another clue. Because it's an on-line game, there are links to all types of search engines that will point you in the right direction. In this game of the Who I Am you can learn something and have fun at the same time! Incredible! The person who figures out the answer using the fewest clues, says "This is Who I Am" and wins the round!
Now, with a little creativity, you can play the game of the Who I Am anywhere you want - in a car, at home, wherever!. Variations of this game have been around a lot longer than the Internet has! Here's an easy variation that uses encyclopedias. It takes a little bit of work to organize, but once you've completed everything, you'll be able to play this game of the Who I Am whenever you want.
First up, get a stack of index cards and write your questions down. Take the same approach as the on-line version - create about 12 to 15 categories and within each category you should have four or five sub-categories. Than create questions for each sub-category. Once that is complete, split your kids into two groups. With the encyclopedias before them, see who can answer the question first! This is an excellent tool to help kids increase their researching skills. You'll know they're learning something, but all they'll know is that they're having fun whenever they play this game of the Who I Am! And remember, you need to say "This is who I am" before you say the answer!
Educators and teachers seem to like the old-fashioned way of playing Who I Am - the version that uses the encyclopedia. If for no other reason than it keeps a child's research skills sharp. As easy and fun as it is using a computer and the various search engines, the internet is not a replacement for books. In fact, the older a child becomes the more and more he or she will have to rely on basic researching skills using encyclopedias and dictionaries and the like.