Games ThatGames ThatBuild StudentBuild StudentExpertiseExpertise22-23 Inspired Teaching Institutes:USING IMPROV TO GROW RESILIENCEwww.inspiredteaching.org 5614 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 258, WDC 20015Copyright © Center for Inspired Teaching 2023CONTENTSThe Inspired Teaching Approach.................................2 Using Games in the Classroom.....................................3 Escape Rooms..................................................................4 Playing with Literacy & History....................................5 Random Walk...................................................................6 Word-at-a-Time Stories.................................................7 3 Review Games..............................................................8 Additional Resources......................................................9Get #Inspired2Learn!Please click on the activity names throughoutthis guide, visit https://bit.ly/3FUXLYT, or scanthe above QR code to access a collection ofready-to-use lessons and activities with full,detailed explanations of each activity andapplicable Common Core Standards to help youbecome an Inspired Teacher!
www.inspiredteaching.orgCopyright © Center for Inspired Teaching 2023The Inspired Teaching ApproachThe Inspired Teaching ApproachAt Inspired Teaching, we help teachers foster engagement-based, student-centered classroomsthrough these 5 Core Elements: Mutual Respect; Student as Expert; Purpose, Persistence, andAction; Joy, and Wide-Ranging Evidence of Student Learning.2Adults trust that students have the ability, and the inclination, to solve academic and social problems,instead of assuming students need adults to solve problems for them. Student voice and ideas areabundant in every lesson, in every interaction. As a result, the Wonder-Experiment-Learn Cyclebecomes a habit of mind and a strategy for problem-solving in academic and non-academic settings.Putting students in the role of expert can be as simple as saying, ‘How did you make the first bunnyear? Can you figure out how to make the second one?’ instead of, ‘Let me take care of that for you,’when a young child asks for help tying his shoe.Putting students in the role of expert can be as complex as insisting the student take the lead infiguring out how to add two-thirds and three-fourths, instead of telling him how to solve the mathproblem, or recalibrating the plan for an entire lesson to embrace the interests and questions of astudent.What does it look like when studentsWhat does it look like when studentsare experts in the classroom?are experts in the classroom?
www.inspiredteaching.orgCopyright © Center for Inspired Teaching 2023Using Games in the ClassroomUsing Games in the ClassroomThey are usually designed to engage and motivate players byproviding experiences they enjoy and want to continue.Learning can take place in a meaningful and relevant context byproviding information at the precise moment when it will be themost useful to the learner.They can present information and problems in ways that closelymirror real life, which facilitates the transfer of learning.In game design, there are opportunities to scaffold learning(making activities more or less complicated based onunderstanding and ability). They can serve as tools for the assessment of learning.They often involve movement which helps to solidify learning.They help develop prosocial skills that include: regulatingnegative emotions, taking turns and sharing, and supportingorientations to others that are fair, just, and respectful.Sources:"Foundations of Game-Based Learning""Promoting Social and Emotional Learning With Games"3Wikipedia's definition:What is a game?What is a game?"A game is a structured form of play, usuallyundertaken for entertainment or fun, andsometimes used as an educational tool. . . Keycomponents of games are goals, rules, challenge,and interaction. Games generally involve mentalor physical stimulation, and often both. Manygames help develop practical skills, serve as aform of exercise, or otherwise perform aneducational, simulational, or psychological role."How games are useful:How games are useful:“Think of games not as Band-Aids to fix what’s broken in theclassroom but as a pedagogicalapproach that might help peoplethink differently about what’spossible... limited only by aplayer’s imagination and by whata gaming set of rules allows.”- Antero Garcia,Associate Professor at StanfordGraduate School of EducationIn this EdWeek article, Jennifer Bay-Williams, a professor at the University of Louisvillewho works with teachers, and author of over a dozen books, shares what she considerswhen selecting games for the classroom.Something to consider...GAME CRITERIA
www.inspiredteaching.org Copyright © Center for Inspired Teaching 20234Escape RoomsEscape RoomsThis can tie into your curriculum. So, ifyou are studying ancient Egypt, theescape room could be themed aroundthat. The story could be about anarchaeologist who is unearthing a tomband gets stuck in there. He must solveseveral puzzles in order to get out and the puzzles rely on his understanding ofAncient Egyptian culture. For anotherexample, if you are studying storiesabout the hero's journey in English youmight be a hero stuck in that journeywho just wants to get back home butmust go through a series of tests thatmark each step of the journey in orderto make a successful return. To advance through each step andultimately "escape," students mustsuccessfully complete a series of puzzles.These can be anything from multiplechoice quizzes to word scrambles todesign challenges, and more. Ideally, eachpuzzle sticks to the theme of your escaperoom and the story you are creating. So, for example, Egyptian tomb puzzlesmight include hieroglyphs, activities, andquestions that pertain to unit content.Similarly for the hero's journey, studentsmay need to reference class texts.Escape Room Puzzle Ideas for theScience Classroom26 Outrageously Fun and Easy DIYEscape Room PuzzlesEscape Room Puzzle TipsWhen your puzzles are set up, you’reready for students to play. You can readabout elaborate setups that include actuallocks in the links in Step 2, but simplyrequiring students to get each puzzlecorrect before moving on works just aswell. Escape rooms work best in smallergroups so consider creating copies of yourpuzzles for several small groups to workon at once. Ideally you want to creategroups where multiple learningapproaches can shine. Groups where oneperson solves all the puzzles don’t lead toengagement for all so talk with yourstudents about what solutions they cancome up with to avoid this. Use the following steps to get started creating an escape challenge in your classroom.1. Create a story & purpose. 2. Create the puzzles. 3. Establish expectations. Play!Several years ago, Escape Rooms became a popular form of entertainment like bowling or karaoke.People paid to get locked in a room with a storyline and series of puzzles and clues that had to besolved in order to “escape.” While teachers aren’t able to create hydraulic mummy tombs thatshoot out smoke and fire when a clue is missed, simplified versions of these popular games can becreated in the classroom to foster inquiry, teamwork, and a high level of engagement.Click on the activity title to be taken to the detailed explanation.Discipline: A good escape room calls on multiple disciplinesin order to escape so with creativity you can likely come upwith a story and puzzles for any content area. Age level: Upper elementary through high school.Time: At least one full class period.Using Escape Rooms to Enhance Literacy inElementary SchoolUsing Digital Escape Rooms to Make Learning FunThe Rise of Educational Escape RoomsSome resources to get you started:
www.inspiredteaching.orgCopyright © Center for Inspired Teaching 2023Playing with...Playing with... 5Playing with...Playing with... In this article, IB history teacher Russel Tarr describes a unit hetaught about Russian history grounded in roleplay. He writes,“We all immersed ourselves in the topic by imagining ourselvesback into the past as key characters in the story. We therebyexplored some of the key events, debates and developments asthey unfolded over time. This approach was a radical departurein itself, but the real challenge was to pursue it in a way thatimproved rather than undermined the quality and quantity ofcontent coverage…The most straightforward way to construct aroleplay-only teaching unit is for the students to adopt genericroles and for the teacher to be the only person to adopt the roleof a specific character. This involves minimal preparation for thestudents and keeps things tightly structured.”Want to learn more about role-playing games? Here areadditional sources:Role-playing in ELA"How Schools Spark Excitement for Learning withRole Playing and Games"In this article, high school teacher (and Inspired Teachingcolleague!) Cosby Hunt describes an AP U.S. history project he did with students in which he made a list of native-born or naturalized twentieth century Americans and placed theminto a bracket—much like the National Collegiate AthleticAssociation (NCAA) basketball tournaments. The students thendebated, head-to-head, which historical figures were “moresignificant” until they arrived at a Final Four and, eventually, a winner. There are several variations on this theme that you can findonline and then adapt to your own content. Here are twoadditional examples:AP Lit March MadnessScience March MadnessLiteracyLiteracyHistoryHistoryMay Madness! A Classroom CompetitionMerges Historical Research with Public Debate Roleplay in the History ClassroomThis poetry-writing activity isn’t exactly a game but it involvesplaying with language and could be made into a game if a groupof students works together to create different content for eachof the “rooms” in the poem, ultimately working on a final piecethat is a collection of the ideas generated by their peers. Also,check out this variation on the activity that involves Minecraft!Six Room Poem, by Georgia HeardThis video explains and illustrates a process Mary Dibinga, ahigh school teacher in Boston, uses to have her studentsimprove their writing. NOTE: The scavenger hunt format can also be applied in othercontexts such as: Finding items or facts on field trips. Looking for shapes in a unit on geometry. Identifying natural phenomena on a walk around theplayground that match what you’re learning in science. Finding vocabulary words in a text or examples in the realworld of where vocabulary words would apply. Improving Persuasive Writing with EvidenceScavenger Hunts
www.inspiredteaching.org Copyright © Center for Inspired Teaching 20236Random Walk: Movement and Learning Combined!Random Walk: Movement and Learning Combined!Find a large open space where students can walk around freely (outdoors or a gym usually work well).Once students have figured out how the game works, you can start making it more complicated with content-specific prompts.Visit our resources page for examples from various disciplines.Notes to consider: Shapes can be chosen to push students to think in a particular way, ex. abstractly, about a topic (engineering,government, grammar), about things that are too small to see, etc. When participants are frozen in sculptures, invite them tolook around and take note of the other ways in which their peers have solved the challenge. Start walking around the space. Fill it up.As you watch students circulating, you should circulate too and call out what younotice like: There’s a gap over here. There’s a gap over here. Pick up the pace. Movequickly, this exercise is done in silence. Instruct the class with these directions:When I say go… find three people and form a triangle. Go! (Pause to give every Keep walking. When I say go… In groups of 2 make a square. Go!Keep walking. When I say go… In groups of 4 make a hamburger. Go!Keep walking. When I say go… In groups of 3 make the three branches of government. Go!Keep walking. When I say go… In groups of 5 make a car. Go!After students have gotten the hang of quickly moving through the space, share thesedirections: group a chance to make their shape.)What to DoDiscipline: The basic structure of this activity canbe applied in just about any discipline.Age level: This can be adapted to all grade levels.Time: 10-20 minutes depending on how long youwant to give groups to come up with solutions andhow many solutions you choose to engage.Click on the activity title to be taken to the detailed explanation.Game Rules Fill the space.Stay in motion. Be mindful of yourbody and others. Play in silence. 18.104.22.168.This activity challenges students to think aboutconcepts collaboratively in a physical way andcompletely without words. The challenge level canbe raised or lowered depending on the promptsinvolved and students will surprise you with therange of ways they solve each puzzle you provide.
www.inspiredteaching.org Copyright © Center for Inspired Teaching 20237Word-at-a-Time StoriesWord-at-a-Time StoriesPairs VersionHave students partner up. Explain that they are going to tell astory together with each of them adding only one word at atime. Their stories should have a beginning, middle, and end.Before releasing students to work, you can choose to model theprocess with a student. Once everyone understands how theprocess works, they can construct their stories. Providestudents with a time check. After about 5 minutes of back andforth, invite pairs to share what their stories were about.Whole Group VersionYour whole class stands in a circle and instead of pairs going backand forth, each student in sequence offers a word to construct astory as a whole. Content Specific VariationsFor these activities you might ask students to write down whatthey say and in this way you have a running record of theirthinking and either an assignment or an assessment. View ourresources page for examples from various disciplines.What to DoDiscipline: This activity works well in subjectsthat involve narrative as a tool for demonstratingunderstanding.Age level: This will probably work best for grades2 and above simply because it works better withmore vocabulary, but as soon as children canspeak in sentences they can learn to play!Time: 10-20 minutes.Click on the activity title to be taken to the detailed explanation.Students will construct a narrative “one word ata time.” The challenge is to create somethingcohesive while depending on the creative inputof each individual. This can be a fun warm-up orbrain break, or you can use it to collectivelysynthesize learning at the end of a lesson or unit.Notes to consider...This activity improves withrepetition. Consider starting outwith simple made-up stories for afew days before branching out intocontent-specific variations. You may need to pause the activityat points as you see where studentsstruggle. Remind them to make theirstories (or poems) coherent, and tobuild on what partners offer insteadof blocking it.If students get stuck, remind themthat “and” or “the” can sometimesbe the best thing to say.
www.inspiredteaching.orgCopyright © Center for Inspired Teaching 2023Discipline: These activities can be adaptedto review most subject areas.Age level: This will probably work best forgrades 2 and above.Time: 20 - 30 minutes.As students prepare forsummative assessments, gamescan be a fun and engaging wayto review key concepts and helpstudents show what they know.These activities also tap into arange of different learning styles.83 Review Games3 Review GamesClick on the activity title to be taken to the detailed explanation.This game comes from an Edutopia article.View an example script of the game here.Start with a simple topic like something personal("What I did on my summer vacation"), or moregeneral ("How to make a sandwich").Decide on two emotions that you will use in this roundof play (i.e. joy and anger).One student volunteers to be the "expert," and standsin front of their peers to discuss the topic.As they talk, call out one of the two emotions, lettingthe student speak for only a moment before callingout the second emotion.The game’s challenge (anddelight) is the expert has to keep talking about thetopic, even as they switch between the two feelings.22.214.171.124.Expert/Emotion GameStudents work in groups of 2-3 to create lyrics for asong about the content you’ve been studying that canbe sung to a familiar tune (i.e. "Twinkle, Twinkle, LittleStar" and "Row Your Boat").Students begin by choosing 6 key vocabulary termsfrom the content you’ve been studying. Explain that the song should teach a listener whatthese terms mean so they have a better understandingof the content you’ve been learning together. Thesong doesn’t have to rhyme but should work in meterto fit to the melody of a familiar tune.After students have their lyrics, they can perform thesong for the class. If students are nervous aboutsinging on their own, you might project their lyrics uponto a board so the whole class can sing along. Spontaneous Learning SongsOn the board or on a printout, list key concepts studentsshould know and understand for your assessment.Prompt the class to discuss one concept at a time. In small groups, each student will take 30 seconds to shareeverything they know. When time is up, the next personat the table will pick up where they left off. You can haveevery person in a group discuss the same topic, orintroduce another topic at periodic intervals. This fast-paced review process gives everyone a chance toshow what they know, and to learn from others.30-Second Professor
Take the SurveyShare How it Wentwww.inspiredteaching.org Copyright © Center for Inspired Teaching 20239Additional ResourcesAdditional ResourcesWord Wall offers several free online tools to create digital interactive materials andgames for your classroom. There are paid versions of the application but you can createquite a bit at the free level! Research shows that using games in teaching can help increase student participation,foster social and emotional learning, and motivate students to take risks.Word Wall SpinnerHow to Use Gameplay to Enhance Classroom LearningA Collection of Articles About Game-Based LearningIf you found this resource useful, pleasecomplete a short survey about it byclicking the button below.We want your feedback!Did you try one of the activities inthis booklet? Let us know!Join us at our nextFAST-PACED,IDEA-RICHInstitute!View UpcomingInstitutesStudents can create their own online games that address issues in their communities.Games for Change