Introducing the project (Part 1 of 5)
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Subjects

Social Studies, History, Art

Grade-level

Middle School, 6-8
High School, 9-12

Time required

45 min.

Materials required

  • Chalkboard (or whiteboard)
  • Chalk (or markers)

Related background reading

None

Related documents

None

Related links

Guampedia

Lesson Plan

Description

With this lesson students will learn about the use of games to learn topics, and begin thinking about creating their own game based on Guam history.

Objectives/Skills

  • Students will be introduced to methods of teaching.
  • Students will understand that numerous methods of teaching are effective.
  • Students will understand that playing games can also be educational.
  • Students will begin thinking about creating their own game based on Guam history.

Questions or Assessment

  • How do we learn/teach? What methods are used?
  • How are games used to teach?
  • How can we make games to teach Guam history?

Procedure

Teacher prep
1. None

Introduction to Methods of Learning
1. Ask students about the ways they are taught in school.

2. List student responses on the board.

3. The resulting list may include the following (there are no wrong responses):

a. “Chalk and talk” (what students will describe as a chalkboard lecture).
b. Activities, or hands-on creative projects.
c. Homework.
d. Tests.
e. Quizzes.
f. Experiments.
g. Problem-solving.
h. Worksheets.
i. Note-taking.

4. Have students identify teaching styles in the school, and benefits of each style (be careful not to allow students to speak overly critically of other teachers).

a. Ms. Blank teaches us art by having us practice with different materials.
b. Mr. Blank teaches us English by writing on a chalkboard and having us take notes.

Introduction to Games as a Means of Learning (10 min.)
1. Inform students that playing can also be a form of learning. (If students have already mentioned playing as a teaching method, be sure to congratulate them).

2. Ask students to list ways that they’ve learned through playing.

3. Write these ways on the board.

4. If students are confused, and they may be, then guide them through the following examples:

a. Games like “tag” teach children to interact with other kids.
b. Team sports teach children to work as a group to accomplish objectives.
c. Trivia board games test a person’s recall of factual information.
d. Playing “cops and robbers” allows children be more creative.
e. Playing on a jungle gym helps improve coordination.

5. Ask children if they have used games to learn in school:

a. Gym class.
b. Music class.
c. Most likely, they’ll be able to identify examples from many other classes.

Introduction to Project (20 min.)
1. Explain to students that they will individually be creating games based on Guam history.

2. These games can take any form (or, if you as the teacher prefer, restrict it to a board game).

3. Have students brainstorm a list of elements they’ve seen in other games.

Among possible elements, students may mention:
a. A safe zone (like a base in “tag”, or a safe square on “Chutes and Ladders”).
b. Trivia cards (as in “Trivial Pursuit”).
c. A point system.
d. A non-point system (perhaps a finish line, as in “Chutes and Ladders”).
e. Dice (or other randomizing object, like a spinning wheel or shuffled cards).

4. Assemble some of these elements into an example game.

a. Using the examples listed above, players may advance through a path of squares on a board game by rolling dice. When they land on a trivia square, they must answer a question. If they get it right, then they move roll again. If wrong, then they lose a turn.

5. Explain that this game was a bit simple, and that you’d like to see more creative projects from the students.

Assigning “Homework” (2 min.)
1. Go home and play a game.

2. Think about ways you can create a game that focuses on Guam history.

Recap (3 min.)
1. Recap what we’ve done and learned in the lesson:

“We’ve learned how games are designed to entertain and teach. Now is your chance to create your own game focused on Guam. Be creative. Be brave. Have fun!”

2. Ask students for their favorite parts of the lesson.