Bunthorne's Blog

Stewart McGowan's blog

Games in the classroom meets Focus on Reading

In the last mETAphor I published an article identifying a few games that were appropriate for use in the classroom. (If you’re an ETA member you can access the article here: http://www.englishteacher.com.au/. Login and you’ll get access to the issue.)

This week I did some work incorporating one of the games into our Year 8 Horror unit. Terry Cavanagh’s game Don’t Look Back, published by Kongregate, is a deceptive, 8-bit style game that at first seems like an old-fashioned 80’s platformer. When you play it, though, you begin to realise that it is re-telling the Orpheus story. Most of my class were able to play the game through in less than a period. Don't_Look_Back

Playing a game through and relating it to the story is one thing, using the experience as part of learning in the classroom is another. So I designed a couple of lessons. I’ve also done a fair bit of work on Focus on Reading, so I decided to incorporate aspects of literacy teaching best practice into the lessons. The result is this PowerPoint. It includes the early activities where students play the game through and then the explicit literacy teaching. Horror writing 8 v2

Naturally this is available for use in classrooms but I expect that my copyright will be acknowledged. Leave my name on the slides, folks. If you are in a Focus on Reading school or you decide to modify and improve the work for your own classes, I’d love to know how this goes.


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