Gaming with Cleveland Junior

Here at Cleveland Junior we have had more success implementing gaming into our curriculum. First off we had our Year 5 pupils using some games that our year 6 pupils created on 2DIY for the BETT show in January. The year 5 pupils were asked to play the games on the blog and then create instruction pages on what the game were about and how to play/beat the game. The pupils commented on the games and gave their ideas on how to improve or change the difficulty of the game.

Once the pupils had created instructions for the 2DIY games they at looked at a new game. We decided to use the first level from a game called ICO on the Playstation 2. We screen recorded the first level so the teachers could play back the video and have the children complete a running commentary about the characters actions, creating a walkthrough. Below is the video we used.

The game starts with a excellent cut scene which you could get some descriptive writing created before the real adventure begins (to jump the cut scene go 7 mins into the video). The boy in the game has a number of actions to carry out such as, walk up the stairs, pull the lever to open a door so he can proceed through to the next area. All this actions are an excellent way to look at instruction writing from a different angle.

In year 3 we have used the Wii to look at our simulations unit. One of the targets we had to hit within the simulations unit was to have an adventure based on an imaginary world. We talked to the children about adventure games they might have played and explained that a lot of what the characters might do in the game we could not do in the real world. The game we used to show this simulation was Zak and Wiki on the Wii. This a great child friendly game its colourful and bright with some interesting characters. The game is set of a treasure island and the aim to find the treasures. The class teachers had the Wii set up in their classrooms and went through the level as a class with the pupils given instructions to the teacher about how they could solve the puzzles. All pupils were fully engaged and talked to each other about what the characters need to simulate to activate levers and doors.

A new club which we have just started is the literacy gaming club. We choose 10 year 6 boys who need some improvement in their creative writing running up to the SATS. We decided to use the Wii to get the boys interested in the club and we chose to use New Super Mario Bros Wii. This is quite a recent game and all the boys knew of the game and its characters. The idea is to have the children create fan-fiction stories for other pupils to read. Fan-fiction is all about creating stories using original characters or settings from established work and then writing new adventures for the characters and settings.

The first week was all about looking at the different worlds the characters were set in. With Mario games you have very distinct world environments (9 all together) from the green fields of the Mushroom Kingdom to the terrifying Bowsers Castle. We started off with the boys playing a few levels of the game in a group of 4. The game allows up to 4 player co-operative mode which is great for having them all involved and using team work to complete a level. Whilst for 4 boys were playing the game the others were watching and looking at level and backgrounds and noting down descriptive words about the world. Once we had played different types of worlds/levels we opened up a Worlde and created some world clouds for each level. We will be referencing these word clouds in the next few weeks when we get down to writing our stories. In the next few weeks we will look at more levels, character profiles and scenarios to base their stories on. Will keep an update running on how this new club evolves.

Wordle on Mushroom Kingdom World

Worldle on Bowsers Castle

Thanks for reading

Simon and Anjum – Cleveland Junior School

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