Interactive Text: Teaching Video Games in the ELA Classroom
@SSullivanLHS teachingtolead.blogspot.com Teaching Video Games in the English/Language Arts Classroom
English Teacher/Dept. Chairman at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Ohio B.A. from Baldwin-Wallace College in English M.A. from New York University in English Education Administration and Leadership license from Cleveland State Universtity
Gently discuss research and data that supportsusing video games in the classroomTell about the creation of the GreatLiterature/Great Games course at LakewoodHigh SchoolProvide useful teaching strategies and lessonideas to implement immediately in yourclassrooms
―…the theory of learning in video games fitsbetter with the modern, high-tech, global worldtoday’s children and teenagers live in than dothe theories (and practices) of learning thatthey see in school.‖ James Paul Gee What Video Games Have To Teach Us About Learning and Literacy
―Today’s kids want to be engaged, and [video]games not only engage them, but teach themvaluable lessons in the process—lessons thatwe want them to learn.‖ Marc Prensky “Don’t Bother Me Mom- I’m Learning”
Data says: 63% of Millennials (18-34) own a game console (Pew Research Center 2011) 63% of Gen X (35-46) own a game console (Pew Research Center 2011) 97% of teens play computer, console, mobile or portable games (Pew Internet 2008)
Games are fun! (Entertainment)Games are engaging! (Interaction)Games are difficult to ignore! (mobile v.console)Games are accessible! (Easy to learn)
Conversations in my classroom about videogames became more engaging than theconversations about books! (Student driven)Students are willing to fail at games and tryagain (no matter how long it takes) until theylearn how to reach the end. (Resilience)
Video Game Culture and Vocabulary Genre Character Analysis Storytelling Adaptations In this class, we read video games like any other literary text the students may encounter.
Bioshock (Xbox 360/PS3)Skyrim (Xbox 360/PS3)Call of Duty: World at War (Xbox 360/PS3)Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360/PS3)Heavy Rain (PS3)Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360/PS3)Fallout 3 (Xbox 360/PS3)Lost in Shadows (Wii)Journey (PS3)Flower (PS3)Limbo (PS3/Xbox 360)The Unfinished Swan (PS3/Xbox 360)
The Metagame is acard game where youargue and debateabout video gamesand culture.www.metaga.me
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Task:Watch the game play video for stage 1 ofJourney. As you watch, write a narrative thatestablishes a clear setting, conflict, and usesdirect characterization. Journey Game Play Video
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3b Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
Task:Can video games be art? After playing Flower,create an argument to answer the question.Use specific examples from the game tosupport you claims. Flower Game Play Video
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. If our students are engaged, teaching the common core standards will be easy!
Video Games are the new literature!Video Games are a part of the culture of thisgeneration and cant be ignoredStudents can do the work we think they cant ifthey are engagedVideo Games must be viewed as seriouseducational tools
Go play some video games! Respect the ESRB ratings Talk to your students about the games they already play (Why are they engaging?) Listen to the conversations your students have about games Research gaming websites, books, magazines, researchers, etc. to better understand the gaming world Plan, Plan, Plan
For more information about teaching video gamesin the classroom, go to my blogwww.teachingtolead.blogspot.com.Available there are resources, sample lesson ideas,and other interesting articles about teaching andlearning.Shane A. SullivanLakewood City Schools – English Dept. Chair@SSullivanLHS
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