3<br />Fun Games<br /> to use <br />In the <br />classroom<br />
Computer Games have the potential to transform a learning environment into a fun, engaging and interactive one.<br />By playing games students can develop skills in decision making, problem solving, literacy, numeracy, hand eye co-ordination, identifying, categorising, improving memory, creativity and many more.<br />Games can also be used as a stimulus to engage students in other activities.<br />Here are a few examples:<br />
Shidonni is an online game which is fun, engaging and allows students to be creative. The site provides digital drawing tools where you can create your own characters which then come to life. You can even create the world in which they live and the food they eat. The number of drawing tools are increased as the student participates in games and completes challenges. <br />It also allows students to send pictures and messages to friends they have added, send a character around the world and create an online book using their own characters. <br />
Create Worlds<br />Shidonni is represented as a galaxy and provides you with up to <br />three worlds to draw your own environment and characters. There is an upgraded version Shidonni Pro which provides more options.<br />Here are some examples of <br /> worlds students could <br /> create and units they could <br /> be integrated in.<br />
My World Task<br />Task: Create a virtual world which represents your own.<br />Students can draw:<br /><ul><li>their favourite place,
fill the fridge up with their favourite food. The teacher could create a world for students from the class. Students can send a picture of themselves to the teacher. This would create a world with all the students represented.
Students could also share pictures of themselves with each other in the class. This is a great task for the beginning of the school year.</li></li></ul><li>Cultural Traditions<br />Task: Design a world based on a country. <br />The class might all be working on the same country or culture or each student could choose their own. <br />They may even wish to research their own cultural heritage.<br />This task would be a great accompaniment to a research task.<br />Items to include:<br /><ul><li>a flagpole and draw the flag of the country
food native to the county to put in the fridge </li></li></ul><li>Underwater World<br />Task: Create an Underwater World.<br />Some suggestions:<br /><ul><li>Provide a list of specific creatures for students to create
Each student is responsible for one creature which they have to research and compile information about its living environment, its life cycle and food it eats. Students then draw and create a world for their creature.
Students can send their sea creature to each other in the class to create a collection of creatures.
Transform their virtual world into a 3D version by making a model using modelling clay, shells and cellophane.
Design their own sea creature by combining parts of several creatures.
Look at the use of camouflage and have students draw animals which are hard to see within their environment. </li></li></ul><li>Going Back in Time<br />Task: Create a world based on a period of time in history. <br />Again this could coincide with a research assignment or unit of work. You may focus on one period of time or students could choose their own. The world can include buildings relevant to the era and people wearing the relevant clothes. Here are some suggestions: Ancient Rome Ancient Greece Ancient Egypt Stone Age Medieval Dinosaurs Shakespearean time <br />
A Novel Idea<br />Task: Create a world based on a novel you have read.<br />This task may be used with a novel the entire class is working on or <br />students could choose their own.<br />Students can draw the characters of the book and the world in which they live.<br />This task can then be continued with the virtual book available in the game. Students could write an alternative ending to the novel or write a book review.<br />By allowing students to transform their reading into a visual form, students will gain a better understanding of the book and allow the teacher to check for understanding, plus it is a lot of fun.<br />
Contemplate the Future<br />Task: Create a world which could exist in the future.<br />You could pose the following questions: What will we live in? What will we be wearing? Will there be animals? What food will we be eating? What has happened to the environment? <br />
Solar System<br />Task: Create a world based on Outer Space. <br />Some Suggestions:<br /><ul><li>What does life look like on a different planet?
Draw planets from our solar system or students </li></ul>could work in groups focussing on one planet <br /><ul><li>What else can be found in outer space
Students can write their facts in the book</li></li></ul><li>Living Environments<br />Task: Design a world based on a living environment, such as dessert, rainforest, bushland, beach or swamp. Explore the landform, <br />plant life, <br />animal life within these environments. <br />
Fantasy World <br />Task: Create a Fantasy World with creatures and places which do not exist.<br />This world is only limited by the students’ imagination. Creatures may include robots, monsters, alien life forms or dragons. <br />This could then lead into a storytelling unit using the digital book within the game.<br />
PASSPORT: <br />Ask students to send one of their characters away using the passport feature. The passport will indicate countries the character has visited. This could lead into a research assignment. <br />
Moshi Monsters<br />Moshi Monsters is a Web 2.0 site where students register and <br />adopt a monster. The site is monitored and is promoted as fun, <br />safe and educational. It is a social networking site which also <br />incorporates elements of a Virtual World. <br />There are several components to this site which make it a <br />viable educational activity. Participants must follow safety <br />guidelines and learn how to interact in a virtual world <br />safely. <br /> The graphics are excellent with interesting <br />monsters. <br />http://www.moshimonsters.com/<br />
The game provides many different activities for students to explore and learn from such as:<br /><ul><li>Internet safety: learning how to use a social networking site safely
Knowledge of currency - called ‘Rox’ , how to earn it and spend it.
Reward and motivation - As students increase their participation they can work through levels and are awarded a virtual trophy for each level and are given a set of shelves to display them on.
Numeracy, literacy and general knowledge: participants can earn currency for their monster if they complete puzzles. These puzzles vary from maths sums, word meanings, spelling, word search, identify flags etc.
Ownership – students own their monster and look after it by designing its room and feeding it.</li></li></ul><li>Tasks <br />related to <br />Moshi<br />Monsters <br />
Design their own monster room</li></li></ul><li>Numeracy<br /><ul><li>Create math questions using terminology and places from the game. </li></ul>Eg. I had a guitar which I bought for 94 rox, I went to Dodgy Dealz on Sludge Street and decided to sell it for 40% of the price I paid for it. How much money did I get for the guitar?<br /><ul><li>Set up a monster shop where students use ‘rox’ to buy and sell items
Keep a tally of the results achieved in the daily puzzles and challenges, display the data in a spreadsheet and convert into different types of graphs or plot results on a graph.
Document the amount of currency earned and items which are bought or sold</li></li></ul><li>Literacy<br /><ul><li>Design a Scavenger hunt for students to find items within the Moshi Monster World or students can design their own
Write a blog from the monster’s point of view, use screen shots of the game to help
Write a story about their monster make decisions about its personality
Students can design their own word games similar to the puzzles in the game
Write a news article for the ‘Daily Growl’.</li></li></ul><li>Social Science<br /><ul><li>There is a puzzle in the game which requires students to identify country flags, this can be used to help students learn about other countries
Students can design their own town, What will their town need?
Design a flag for their town</li></li></ul><li>http://www.trackmania.com/<br />Trackmania<br />Nations<br />Forever<br />
Trackmania Nations Forever is a free download racing game. It offers many tracks and levels of difficulty. Students can play against each other and on the internet.<br />The game also offers an editor component where students can design and build their own track, paint their car and save a replay of their races and edit the video.<br />Here are some suggestions of ways to use it in the classrooms:<br />
<ul><li>Record timesof races and plot on a graph
tracks and give feedback</li></li></ul><li>Videos<br />Creating videos using games is referred <br />to as Machinima.<br />This game offers great potential in this area.<br />Students can save their replay, edit the video and change camera angles within the game. The video can then be converted to an .avi file. This allows students to edit the file in any other video editor such as Windows Movie maker and add music, sound or voices.<br />Go to this link to see examples of Trackmania videos.<br />http://www.tm-tube.com/<br />
Tasks using Videos<br /><ul><li>Make a Music Video
Do a race several times and add all races to the video editor</li></ul>Go to this link for an example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UcQmJwTnBg<br /><ul><li>AnalyseTrackmania Videos found on the internet
Add voices by acting as commentators a discuss the race
Add voices by acting as the driver of the car and discuss what is happening
Use students use their blog and create a video documenting the achievements of them as a race car driver, present as a documentary.</li></ul>Created by S. Hendy 2009<br />