Adding student created games into your reading rotations can be a game changer! Students will love working on this project while you hold reading groups.
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How Students Can Create Games
Students can create games alone, with a partner, or in a small group. This is a great way for your higher achieving students to shine!
Even though this is an activity to be completed during small group or intervention time, students do not have to create a reading focused game. Games can be created on any subjects the student needs further review.
What Student Created Games Look Like
Having a clear idea of what the finished student created games look like will set your students up for success. Will students be creating board games? Review games? Card games?
I would have examples of the type of projects I would want students to create. These examples don’t have to be student created (especially if it’s your first time doing a project like this) but it can be store bought games students are familiar with.
Taking a few minutes to pull the students aside and showing them how to play the example games, the materials included, and the rules needed can help to model the expectations of a student created game.
Teacher Expectations for Games
With most independent projects, I would recommend having clear expectations for students. Model how to begin brainstorming ideas for a game or provide an outline for students to complete to guide the project. Depending on the grade level you teach will determine how much scaffolding is needed for project success.
All students should have a rubric or plan to follow - especially if this will be a graded project. A rubric might include sections about game rules, creativity, directions to play, and accuracy of material covered. Students should be able to explain how to have others play their game.
Student Created Game Options
There are lots of options for games students can create. Students can create review games, a strategy board game (similar to Monopoly or Risk), or a collaborative storytelling game.
A student review game might include playing cards with multiple choice questions about the content and a board game for students to advance on with correct answers.
Strategy board games can be more challenging for some students but many students will rise to the occasion. The more familiar students are with playing different board games, the easier this option will be for them.
Last, a collaborative storytelling game can be a fun way to test students on understanding story elements. Students can create the basic story and the game cards can be used to add plot twists, characters, and other elements.