Well, it happened.
The request was made for a day of video games at Sprout… who would’ve thought! So, of course, I had to comply.
We began with a timeline – when, why, and what.
Then we moved into a pros and cons list. The pro side: They are fun! They could be used for learning. They are fun! You can connect with people from all over the world.
Cons side: Too much screentime may be harmful. You waste too much time. You lose track of time. My mom yells at me when I play for too long. (LOL) There’s no human interaction. (This was debated)
Then we talked about how are video games created. You need to think about four main things: Concept, Visuals, Coding, and Distribution.
Finally the choice of the project: You can conceptualize, create a storyboard, and create visuals for a game you’ve invented. This could mean you make a new version of a game you know too.
Take a favorite part of a game you play and create a hands-on game or art project from that game.
So what did the Sprout group learn from an activity like this?
They learned to listen to each other, share information, and debate issues. They learned that it is tough to start from scratch on a new idea that follows a plan and makes sense.
Whenever we partake in activities such as this, that are so incredibly open-ended and the children could take in any direction they want, we see a few of the same outcomes.
- A small group of students knows exactly what they want and rush to start and finish the task.
“I’m done!” Is proudly heard in the quiet room.
When questioned, “tell me about your game.”
The student begins with “It’s called…, You can…, It’s so fun! What can I do now?”
- Redirecting that student to add detail, give more thought, think more about the project can be really tricky and more often than not it will be frustrating for the kid that likes to be done and done first!
2. Another small group of students stares blankly, “I don’t know what to do.”
- Ok, this can be tricky too. You need to walk them through the outline/design process. You need to find out what personally he/she is interested in. You need to offer choices and ideas without giving too much away.
3. Then there are the one or two kiddos that do not follow one thing that was laid out in front of them, even though you offered choices in the outcome. They came up with a completely different outcome than the class project.
- In situations like this, it’s important to evaluate the child, not necessarily the project outcome. Think about why he/she didn’t make ‘a video game.’ Think about if he/she participated during the group ‘lesson.’ Then think about why? Is it because the project didn’t speak to him/her? Is it because he/she didn’t understand the project? Does his/her outcome make any sense in the plan for the day?
Each class period, it is important to look at what the students like but it is just as valuable to look at what the students don’t like and why they might not like it. What challenges does your gifted child face?
Overall, this project turned out to be a very successful project. There was much collaboration, sharing, and creating.