Using role-play is surely not a new idea, but you can actually use it to teach all subjects. Naturally, any Role Playing Game (RPG) is a wonderful tool to use in English and Literacy. Students need to create characters, and these have to have backstories and they need to have goals.
This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of UKEdMagazine
Literacy: use books (or excerpts from) that the students need to read to become familiar with the world they will be playing with.
Numeracy/Maths: In AD&D there is common use of D12s and D20s. For all non-gamers, these are 12 and 20 sided dice. You can create rules which tell students that they have to multiply the numbers, or use 2 dice to create fractions and then add/subtract/multiply them. They can record their combat scores and make graphic representations – statistics done.
History: The campaign setting can be imaginary, but it could be Roman times, Greeks, Aztecs or medieval Italy. You could also say that the students need to find historical figures as their characters, or as inspiration for their characters.
Geography: They could create their own map. Whilst the campaign is on, they could constantly be drawing (sketching) up the terrain as the story unfolds and create a map of it from time to time.
Science: this is a bit harder, because it depends what you’d be teaching them. Forces and materials can be embedded quite easily. Experiments and hands on learning can be masqueraded as something their characters would be doing. General tips:
- If you don’t feel confident in managing 25-30 different students through the campaign, reduce the number of characters by assigning 2-4 students per character
- Have the basic instructions on a big sheet on the wall all times.
- I’d suggest that at the beginning of term there should be a designated space left empty where all artefacts (maps, artwork, character sheets) will be showcased. This space will be populated throughout the term.
@DragonLearn Working in Edtech – London