Learning With Dominoes

Dominoes are a great example of something that can be both fun and educational. They can help us learn about how objects can fall when gravity is applied, and how to design a path for them to follow. You can play all sorts of games with dominoes, from simple straight lines to curved lines that form pictures when they fall, and even 3D structures like towers and pyramids. And the best part is that you can use just about any kind of tile for the dominoes, as long as they match in size and have the same color or pattern on all sides.

The history of domino is a bit sketchy. The first dominoes were probably Chinese, but they may have been imported to Europe in the sixteenth century or later. There is also some evidence that the game may have been invented by a statesman in China in the eleventh century. However, the domino we know and love today is most likely a nineteenth-century invention of a Danish engineer, Christian Bernhard Rasmussen.

In a basic game of domino, each player places a single tile on the domino board with its matching end facing up. Any other tiles already in place are then matched to this, creating a chain of tiles that grows in length as additional ones are placed down. A single domino has two matching ends, but doubles have four. If a player can’t match any more of his or her dominoes to the chain, they “knock” (rap) the table and play passes to the opponent.

While most people don’t think of it this way, dominoes are a great model for learning about how objects can be moved by outside forces. For instance, when you stand a domino upright, it has potential energy based on its position. But when you knock it over, much of this energy is converted to kinetic energy, which causes the next domino to move in turn.

Another lesson from dominoes is how to create a sequence of events in a story. Whether you write a novel off the cuff or plan your manuscript carefully, plotting it comes down to one simple question: What happens next? The answer to this is where the excitement comes from. Think of each event in your story as a domino.

Each one can be a little different, but each must build on the previous dominoes to build up to a climax that will be exciting and satisfying. To accomplish this, it’s helpful to plan out a domino track, which is a map of the dominoes and their relationships. This can be done on a piece of paper or in software, and it can be as simple or as complex as you want. It can include arrows that indicate the direction in which the dominoes will travel, or it can be as detailed as a map showing where each domino is located. This is known as the domino map, and it is an important tool for plotting a story.