While I really enjoy teaching my After School, one thing I have noticed is that it's hard to capture and keep their imagination. Attendance of course is not mandatory so students flow in when they like and stay for as long as they like. Considering the after school is an hour and a half that means usually they're not there.
To make a long story short I want to turn my after-school class into a Dungeons and Dragons game playing class. AN overarching story and some actual emotional investment into their characters would be just the thing to bring kids back class after class.
Before you criticize the idea, there are a few people that have gotten the full DnD game to work for the middle school grade level without much tweaking at all. Language barriers and time constraints be damned:http://www.gameskb.com/Uwe/Forum.aspx/games-dnd/4851/Dungeons-and-Dragons-and-ESLhttp://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/273198-d-d-classroom.htmlhttp://odd74.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=campaignstories&action=display&thread=5787
But rather than use the more advanced version of DnD I'd much rather create a new scaled down simpler version of the game. One that holds all the intricate captivating story elements and still allows for unlimited imaginative responses, just with easier access to language and game mechanics.
This is an INCREDIBLY rough syllabus of how I plan to run the class. Keeping in mind that I have an hour and a half (practically two full class periods) with which to cover tons of material. Class #1
- Character Creation (Personality and Attributes)
-Goal: The Students will create a character
-Students will learn about Personality Traits to describe how their character acts
-Students will learn about Strengths and Weaknesses. (ex: Strength, Cunning, Agility, Speed, Charisma)
-Students will create a character (within certain limitations) choosing their Personality and Attributes and draw their characters Class #2
- World Creation (Nouns and Adjectives)
-Goal: Students will describe the world
-Students will briefly review Nouns and Adjectives.
-Students will choose a place and describe objects within it, what they do, and how they look.
-Students will create item cards that will be used in the game. They must describe what each item does and how it looks.
-Students will create a weapon card (within certain limitations) that will serve as their characters weapons. - --These card will be used in the very first game.Class #3
- First day of game play
-The teacher will create the world and a short story pertaining to it. That outlines a specific goals that must be achieved.
-This is where the teacher will lay very basic
rules pertaining to movement on the board and different interactions students can have with items and each other.
-Students must use their characters and work together to achieve the goal speaking only in English.This idea is obviously in it's infancy and needs much work and fleshing out so I wanted some creative input and maybe a bit of discussion on this idea from my much more intelligent and esteemed colleagues:
Do you think this idea would work?
If you could, would you use this is your own classes?
What language points do you think would be good to focus on? What vocabulary would you suggest I incorporate?
Obviously this is a male dominated game, how would I get girls interested?
I don't mind putting some of my own cash into making the game good, so what materials would you suggest I gather to use?
I don't care much about a time line being in a fantasy setting. I honestly think the kids might get more out if it if it was more modernized. So what scenario would you think works best? Zombie Apocalypse?