Hey Listen Games

©2019, Hey Listen Games

Sep 4

The Teacher's Lounge

8 comments

Edited: Sep 5

I'm assigning all of you homework. Since all the materials on Hey Listen Games are free, you can consider this your payment, unless you've actually donated to the site :)

 

I want teachers to use this forum to discuss game based learning. I want you to create a new post here if . . .

  1. You taught with one of the lessons on this site. Explain how the lesson went in your class.

  2. You taught with a video game that is not on Hey Listen Games. Detail the game and the lesson you made.

  3. You taught with any game, not necessarily a video game. What was the lesson about?

  4. You have an idea for a lesson/unit for a game and want to discuss it with other teachers. 

There are not many places where teachers can discuss game based learning with other professionals, so I hope this forum will be useful for anyone interested in teaching with video games.

Hello!

 

I'm an English teacher from Pakistan and I'm pretty new to using video games to teach English concepts. I just wanted some feedback regarding these two games I thought would be really helpful in teaching some concepts.

 

So, I have had to host a few spelling bees in the past and my students complain about how dull it can get to spell. So, I remembered this game I played once called Epistory: a Typing Chronicles which is about a girl who's trying to fix her homeland. As you traverse through this gorgeous adventure, you are faced with enemies with words above them and you have to type to destroy them.

 

The second game I came across was called Killer Frequency, where an RJ has to help three callers escape a murderer. I thought this was a really neat game to explore to teaching skills such as the importance of future planning and decision making. However, I'm not sure how I can incorporate English skills into this. I'm still thinking about it.

 

I really would like some feedback and it would be lovely to have a discussion with anyone who would want to have one.

 

Thanks a lot for your time!

Sep 17

I haven't heard of either of these before, but at a quick glance they both look like a lot of fun. Killer Frequency sounds awesome! In terms of English, are you trying to teach English as a language, or English Language Arts, which is more about story telling?

The thing is my school urges us to teach English ONLY as a language. Our department head doesn't seem to understand that teaching English Language arts is also very important because it helps the students develop writing skills and it helps them to decide which genre they would like to explore.

Sep 17

That can definitely be frustrating. I teach at a school in New York dedicated to newly arrived immigrants who need to learn English as a language and using stories is a great way to get them where they need to be. Using stories gets them to naturally want to have conversations which helps their speaking and listening skills. Plus a number of the games require a lot of reading.

I hundred percent agree with you. I really would like to work in a school that lets me design my own lesson plans without putting limitations on it.

 

There was a time I was forced to teach a whole class of boys Little Women and it was extremely frustrating. The only way I was able to keep their interest was by giving them excerpts of the important or meaningful lines in the book and placing them in order as we listened and read the book. Afterwards, I had them draw out their favourite scenes from the chapters.

Hi Sarah,

 

Just chiming in with some questions back at you to try and focus your thinking around game use:

 

I can see that you have identified some "fun" games that you'd like to use. So, can I assume that you are thinking of using the games for affective (motivational) reasons only? What can students learn through the use of those games? Or, what would you like to teach with those games? What specific skills?

 

Another key question is: What do you as a teacher plan to do around the game play sessions? Playing the game is going to be fun for students, I'm sure, but as you probably know already: fun does not equal learning. I think @Zack has some fine examples of how he incorporates non-gameplay pre and post activities to hone students into specific skills.

 

Could you perhaps come up with a quick lesson plan around one of the games? Then we could help guide you further.

 

Hope these questions aid your thinking.

 

James

Hello everyone!

 

@James York You have an excellent point! Fun doesn't always equal to learning. After reading your post, I went back to look for some other games and tried to see how I could apply them to, if not English as a language, then at least to one of the skills, such as listening or speaking.

 

One of the games I thought useful and engaging is called Unheard, a short enough detective game that has the player solving cases via an audio record and the player moving around the map to listen to different people's conversations. To help the students exercise listening skills and making inferences, we usually have an audio file and then just to test if the students were listening, we would ask them questions they would then have to write down.

 

However, Unheard is slightly different as it gives students the choice to move around the rooms they want to go to and whose conversation they want to hear. Then, regarding the information they have, they have to make inferences to identify the speakers and answer two or three questions that have to do with the particular cases.

 

There is one drawback, though. The foul language. The game, to keep their characters intact and to show diversity in their personalities, profanities are used in this, albeit not too many, but still...

 

So now I'm back to finding more and other games to apply in the classroom.

Sounds like you could totally make a lesson around that game. What age are the students? If they are adolescents, the analysis of swearing, when to use it, why, why not, what it means, how it changes the meaning of a sentence, feelings... etc... could be turned into a lesson itself.

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