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Subject: Fun first + Learning second = Edutainment rss

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John Welch
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Levée en Masse I've been an AP History teacher for almost 25 years and was always looking for a game that could be used with students at all learning levels but would prompt the development of authentic critical thinking by my students.

More recently, I was fortunate enough to have a game on the French Revolution published by Victory Point Games called Levee en Masse. It was designed as a solitaire game that would be fun and challenging - right for replayability. However, the teacher in me was compelled to put together a set of five lesson plans that work through Bloom's so that by lesson five, students are critically applying their knowledge by creating Event Cards for the game. My plan going forward is to produce a teacher version of the game that would contain all the components to be able to have students play in the classroom.

Until then, the set of lesson plans is now available as a free download from the Victory Point Games website.

For those that have been waiting or for those that know teachers that might be interested, the lesson plans for Levee en Masse are now up on the VPG website. Follow the link and click on 'Levee en Masse' and then click the 'Lesson Plans' listing to get a zip file that contains all 5 of them.

Here's the link: http://victorypointgames.com/articleDetail.php?GameAids

I hope they work for you and please let me know how things went with your students.
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Scott Nicholson
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I'm just putting together a research grant proposal to study how game design compares to other forms of class activities for the learning and retaining of course concepts. I think there's something significant here about how making games really helps you understand something.

Oh, and if the fun is first and the learning second, wouldn't that be Entercation?



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Will Green
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professorwelch wrote:
I've been an AP History teacher for almost 25 years and was always looking for a game that could be used with students at all learning levels but would prompt the development of authentic critical thinking by my students.

My plan going forward is to produce a teacher version of the game that would contain all the components to be able to have students play in the classroom.

For those that have been waiting or for those that know teachers that might be interested, the lesson plans for Levee en Masse are now up on the VPG website.
I hope they work for you and please let me know how things went with your students.


First, thank you for putting this game on my radar. Second, I don't teach history, but if I did this would move me in the direction that you are suggesting. I may be able to use some of these ideas in other ways in my classroom, however. (I teach 5th grade).

How well did this go with you students?

Cheers,

Will
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Will Green
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snicholson wrote:
I'm just putting together a research grant proposal to study how game design compares to other forms of class activities for the learning and retaining of course concepts. I think there's something significant here about how making games really helps you understand something.


I am very interested in what the results are of a) your proposal and b) the results you find with how well material is retained when combined with in the framework of the curriculum.

I have had the kids in my classes over the years, design games to explain the rock cycle, as well as Ancient Egypt. The kids really seem to get into it and have made some spectacular games. Some that I thought could really take off in a BGG sort of way.

Let me know what you find out, if you wouldn't mind.

Cheers,

Will Green
 
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John Welch
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You are absolutely right Scott - Entercation is much more like it I also want to say that I love your website and your reviews - you have such a great attitude toward gaming and it comes through in the work you put in to produce your video commentaries. I will be happy to share any results or ideas I have with you as you work on your proposal!

In my experience (and it looks like Will's as well), getting students to use game design to critically understand the content is a winner. The best part is they hardly know just how much 'work' they are putting in or the higher level thinking skills they are applying to the process.

Will - my plan is to present at the California Conference on the Social Studies next March. I hope to have at least two or three more titles completed by then to add to the series - one on the Boxer Rebellion in China, one on the English Civil War, and one on the Cold War. All the lessons I create will be aligned to the State and National Standards. I will be sure to let you know how the data demonstrates increased learning through the AP Test in European History and the CST for history.

Finally, Scott I would be delighted to send you a copy of Levee if you'd like one so you can see how it works with the lesson plans I have posted. I would welcome your feedback on the design aspects I used to capture the historical flavor of the French Revolution while trying to keep the game challenging and fun. Please feel free to contact me.
 
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Will Green
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Hey John,

I live up in the Bay Area and am interested in the California Conference on Social Studies. Do you have a website that gives more information about the conference? It sounds great.

Cheers,

Will
 
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John Welch
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Hello Will - here is the link to the CCSS website:

http://www.ccss.org/index.htm

I'm also planning to attend Pacificon on Labor Day Weekend in San Jose - so I will be in your 'neighborhood'. There should be a table for Victory Point Games and the possibility that members of the VPG team will present - they did last year. Alan Emrich runs VPG and has a great attitude towards games and education (he's been an teacher of one kind or another since the early 1980's). If you get the chance, you might want to go to www.victorypointgames.com and read a little about the company - I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
 
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