Saturday, August 30, 2014

Classroom Activity: Map and Setting (part II)

I'm continuing to develop lesson ideas for my middle school game-based enrichment class.
Right now I'm focusing on Unit Two: Creating a Setting

Key Unit Objective: Students will extend their knowledge of geographic tools by generating maps and map keys
.
Activity 2: Whole-group Setting Design.
Working first in whole-group, next in small groups, and finally in whole-group again, the class will collaborate to develop a single adventure setting. Finally they will evaluate the setting as a whole.

Sub-Objectives for this activity:
  • Students will practice using a map key and interpreting maps

Technique:
  • classroom Smartboard & projector
  • class votes on type of setting (ancient tomb, sunken city, ruined castle, ghost ship, etc)
  • small groups to design hazards and rewards
  • come together to add group contributions to Smartboard
  • identify one or more plot hooks for involving characters in the setting
  • identify criteria that make a setting engaging (mystery, danger, originality, etc)

.
Assessment
  • 3x5 reflection
    • Using the criteria we identified, evaluate the setting we created as a class on a scale of A to F, using specific examples to explain the reason for the grade you chose. What one thing could be done to improve the setting?


Activity 3: Use a Menu to finish stocking a short, partially complete, prefabricated setting

Sub-Objectives for this activity:
  • Students will practice reading informational text and using charts
  • Students will use a rubric to guide their creation of a keyed map
Technique:

  • Distribute one copy of partially finished prefab setting per student (e.g. B1 In Search of the Unknown, The Haunted Keep from Moldvay B/X)
  • Distribute a menu of suggested hazards, NPCs, rewards, specials, room dressing
  • Distribute / display stocking guidelines (frequency, challenge level, thematic elements, plot hooks, etc)


Assessment:
  • completed setting -- does the student demonstrate that they understand how to use stocking guidelines and map legend / symbols to complete the map and key the locations?

By the end of Activity 3, students should be ready for the culminating activity of Unit Two, where they design their own adventure location completely from scratch! Next time I'll hammer out some of my thoughts about that -- then off to Unit Three!