Lesson idea: Video games

Just a quick idea for a bit of video game chat. We did a 5-week module on the topic, this was my context builder. Took about an hour as the teens got into it.

Step 0: Lead-in questions if you want, like…

  • How often do you play video games?
  • Do you have a favourite game?
  • Do you think it’s harmful for teens to play too many video games?
  • Etc

Alternatively, maybe do a picture dictation of a video game image below to get students talking, then elicit lesson topic.

Step 1: Hand out loads of screen shots of video games or put them around the room. I chose these eight:

(Chuckie Egg, Space Invaders, Zelda, Frogger, Mortal Kombat, Worms, House of the Dead, Sensible Soccer)

Students look at images and discuss:

  • Have you seen/played the game before? (I went retro though so probs not! Ha!)
  • What type of game is it? (My teens knew ‘shoot-em-up’, ‘arcade game’, I mentioned ‘platform game’, etc
  • What’s the aim of the game?
  • What do you think the gameplay is like?
  • What do you think of the graphics?
  • Etc

After discussion, get the students to guess what the name of the game might be from the image.

Then hand out paper with the name of each game on it. Students work together to match the image to the name.

If you want to use my images names, here’s a basic word doc for you.

Step 2: Based on the image only, get students to order the games based on their date of release. They are only guessing of course! Encourage discussion, provide process language if you want:

‘Chuckie Egg is definitely older than Worms because…’

‘Based on the graphics, I’d say…’

‘This game looks like it’s quite modern/old/recent…’

Etc

When they finish, get students to search online (probs Wikipedia) to find the release date of each game. They check their answers, discuss whether anything surprised them, etc.

Step 3: Students work in pairs (depends on numbers). Allocate each pair one video game. Give them 10 minutes to research the game. You can provide some possible information to gather, eg:

Name:

Release date:

Developer:

Game type:

Console:

Was the game part of a series?

Popularity (e.g. units sold):

Gameplay:

Etc

Or you could elicit these topics from the learners.

Step 4: After 10 minutes students share their information with other pairs. Options…

  • You could give them a general listening task, like ‘make notes and then decide which game you think is most interesting/would you most like to play?’ etc
  • You could get them to draw a table including the categories above and take more detailed notes – eliciting further info maybe
  • You could encourage them to ask further questions about the games, and if the answers aren’t known then the pairs could research it together (if actually interested)
  • You could tell the groups to take notes because you’re going to quiz them afterwards. Then do a quiz with mini-whiteboards. You can make the questions up on the spot because someone should have the answers from their research! Eg. ‘What year was ______ released?’, ‘What type of game is _________?’ etc

Step 5: Students now prepare info about their favourite video game. They can use the categories from before as a guide. Repeat Step 4 basically, just more personalised.

Step 6: Consolidate any vocab that emerged.

Maybe end with questions like:

  • What do you think makes a good video game?
  • Think about the games your classmates like – what did they value the most? Graphics? Gameplay? Convenience (e.g. mobile game)? etc
  • Why do you think certain types of games appeal to, say, teens more than adults? Adults more than teens? Etc.
  • How might you go about doing market research into popular video games among teens?

Etc. Depends what you’re leading towards I guess.

Tip if you want a grammar focus

Passives might be good:

___________ was released in…

___________ was developed by…

Follow-up:

  • Maybe a video, like the history of video games
  • Get students to download Chuckie Egg. See if they can get past the level where you have double-fast purple (or blue) things and the fat yellow bird chasing you (should be about level 32). Their task is to find out what happens after that.
  • FYI the answer is that the last 8 levels just loop. I reached about level 260 with my Acorn Electron Emulator running in the background – then my laptop restarted itself.

Feature image: bbcmicro.co.uk

One comment

  1. Chuckie Egg and Frogger take me back to the mid 1990s, playing games on our BBC, each one individually loaded from a 5 1/2″ floppy 🙂
    Looks like a great lesson plan – wish I had a group I could use it with!
    Sandy

    Liked by 1 person

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