Updated: May 9, 2020
What's going on everyone?
So I taught a lesson using Celeste, developed by Matt Makes Games. It was my first time teaching this lesson and overall, I thought it went really well. I will note that I taught this in my Advisory class, which is kind of like a homeroom. It is a place to check in on kids and teach lessons about life, rather than something content specific. I used my Nintendo Switch for the lesson. You can find the lesson here.
If you don't know much this game, it is a screen by screen platform game. Basically, with each screen you need to figure out how to jump across from one side to another.
The plot of the game, however, is about a girl, Madeline, trying to climb a mountain named Celeste. The mountain is a metaphor for anxiety, depression, and other metal wellness issues Madeline faces in her life.
My students really had a fun time playing through the first level. This lesson only focusses on the first level, although I hope to make more lessons for the rest of the game because it really is great. The aim of the lesson was for the students to discuss how they can overcome adversity in their lives. Playing Celeste was a great way to get this conversation started. Being a student is not easy, and this gave them a safe and fun space to have these conversations about mental health.
Here you can see an example of the handout I had my students fill out as they played. My students are currently 11th and 12th graders. Please note that I teach at school for English Language Learners, many of whom have had interrupted educations. So the responses may not look like those of typical 11th and 12th graders in the United States.
He very clearly understood the message of the game, even though he said that it is not a game he can see himself playing in his free time. I told him he was crazy because it was one of the best games that came out last year.
This particular student still needs to pass his English Regents and after this lesson he told me he was not worried because he has many more opportunities.
I definitely want to teach this lesson to the rest of my students in my history class. I will just need to find an appropriate time to do so. I will also definitely at some point create more lessons using Celeste because the message is so important for people to hear. I will also make another post eventually talking about my impressions of the game as whole.
Thanks for reading,