We started our unit on Games today in our PE class. It was good fun and I highly recommend it.
To kick it off we brainstormed the Elements of a Game with the simple question, what makes a good game? Once we had some ideas, we used MindNode, which is some freeware software for a Mac that creates graphic mind-maps. We got out our MacBooks and plugged in our information:
Once we had this set, we came up with a list of games that fit this criteria and scattered them down on a piece of paper. After we had a satisfactory number, we made connections by drawing a circle around two games and linking them with a line based on some kind of similiarity. Next, we did a Think/Pair/Share and explained our reasoning for linking two games (for example, Golf and Running are similiar because it is an individual game where you compete against many people).
For the next portion of the lesson, I put out several random items from the supply closet; a box, a ball, and some ping pong paddles. I then asked them to make a game that fulfills the requirements we made in our mindmap. The kids came up with so many ideas. After this, we played the game for about 20 minutes, and then afterwards reflected on the game, asking yourselves it matched the elements, and how we can tweak the rules to make it better.
Finally, we got out our MacBooks again, and made a poster to illustrate the game using Pages; organizing all our ideas into a coherent set of rules and explanations.
This first day was done as a group, but starting next week we will begin developing our own individual games, and we continue to think about what makes a good game, reflecting along the way and expanding on our mind-map. I hope to continue the tech integration and have each student develop their own poster, and then publish them all in a class game book or website.