I am an elementary school teacher and I work with kids aged 8-12. The class I teach is fifth grade and the students are aged 11-12. They have some experience in the use of games in the classroom, but not that much. I have used LUPO: The Space Adventure with them in many different ways:
- First we just played the game through using the roles in the game. We just used the card deck with pen and paper. After the game every team presented their creations and they evaluated themselves as a part of the group. They also evaluated how they worked and managed as a group.
- Next time we played LUPO: The Space Adventure the same way as before but now we used Minecraft to build demonstrate the ideas. So students had to build their own new world in Minecraft. Besides building the world in Minecraft, the game session itself and the evaluation were the same as before.
In my opinion Minecraft is a perfect tool to build your world. It enhances teamwork more than pen and paper, it develops spatial awareness and is an instant motivator for students. It also gives the students who are not that into working with pen and paper an opportunity to build their ideas.
When the game got more familiar to students, we began to use it in our everyday school work.
During Finnish lessons, we started writing backstories to the planets and creatures. For example:
- How did the creatures became as they are?
- Where are they from?
- How are they?
- What does interest them and so on?
The same goes for the planets – what is the story behind them?
We also thought about the future of the created worlds. How are they after 100 years or so? This was also a writing assignment where students can include some drawings.
The writing assignments began to live a life of their own and the students continued to write them at home. Soon I had a desk full of different backstories written by different students to grammar check.
In geology we started to draw maps of LUPO: The Space Adventure planets using real map symbols and info. During biology lessons we started creating an own ecosystem of the planets. Students presented their planets plants, climate, animals and food chains.
We also compared the planets to Earth and presented them to the class as you would present a real life planet, for example Saturn. In math, we had different assignments related to the spaceship and journey through space to their planetary destinations. The assignments covered topics such as speed, area, volume, time and food consumption.
After a while, I noticed that almost every subject or topic can be implemented in the LUPO: The Space Adventure game. Otherwise boring topics become interesting and students become motivated to complete the challenges/assignments, when the lesson is implemented in the LUPO Game Frame. You can easily implement different topics to the story of LUPO: The Space Adventure and let it grow into something big. First, it’s a bit challenging but after a while it’s easy and rewarding. It’s all about the game frame and how to use it implement is to different subjects.
I have noticed that it’s important to make the assignments story-like and include them somehow into the game. The assignments can be included in different parts of the game itself or they can be stand alone stories of their own. But what matters the most is the story.
So that’s it! Go grab yourself a copy! I can’t wait to start playing with my new class of fourth graders.
Author: Tomi Tolonen