I recently wrote about using an RPG in place of a traditional novel for a fourth grade fantasy unit Teched-Up Teacher. Link to full article: http://www.techedupteacher.com/tomorrows-read-aloud-the-rpg/
In our fourth grade PLC, we attempted to leverage the power of digital game- based learning to mitigate the known weaknesses of read alouds (teacher- directed, no student ownership, passive activity, difficult to tell if students are engaged) to improve our ROI (Return on Instruction) during one read aloud session per week.
We call this new task “Future Ready Read Alouds”. The learning design/pedagogy was heavily influenced by Tom Murray’s (Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools) “Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today” he co-authored with Eric Sheninger, and James Gee’s (Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies) “What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy”.
Future Ready Read Alouds blend physical and virtual learning spaces to facilitate joint media engagement. We substituted the traditional leveled middle-grade novel with a differentiated (mixed Lexile) middle-grade novel of text embedded within an RPG (role-playing game) format. Students are assigned to groups of four based on reading ability. Each group has a student from the class’s top quartile and one from the bottom quartile. This ensures each group has all students reading fluently at their reading level.
Students go beyond reading their characters text by actually exploring the story- world. They control the main characters (graphically represented as sprites) using the keyboard. Students collaborate with their group to make decisions where to go and what to do, and sometimes even what to say (dialogue branch choices). This format may be relatively new to the educational world, but it’s well known in the gaming world (RPG’s debuted to wide audiences in the early 90’s). There are roles beyond “reader” that allow students to be valued for intellectual abilities other than reading. These additional roles (such as explorer, battler, navigator and problem-solver) foster inclusion. All students in a class—including special education and ELL students—can collaborate together, regardless of reading ability.
Google Site created by the students and student interviews: https://sites.google.com/rocktwp.net/sydneysworldstudentsite/home?authuser=2
This is great. Which RPGs have you found to be the most successful?