Friday, March 15, 2013

Video Game Design in the Social Studies Classroom

This week, my 6th grade social studies students conducted research about medieval European topics, then they each remixed, "modded" (modified), or created brand new flash-based video games.  They also wrote a reflective essay that explains how their game relates to their researched findings.  I used a completely constructivist teaching style, only giving students a short overview, then links to a YouTube tutorial and a PDF step-by-step.  No actual coding is required; programming commands are put together by matching color-coded interlocking bricks, although practical knowledge of math (angles, degrees, x, y plane) is inherent in game design.  Video game design is not only engaging, and part of STEM (, but it also challenges learners to consider how to teach to the topic they are tasked to study.

This video link fully explains Scratch's potential as a learning tool:  Scratch is a free download from MIT Media Labs:

Below are links to some of my student's examples (click each picture to play):

Scratch Project Scratch Project Scratch Project Scratch Project