Mr Finlayson

Education and Technology

Sesson One

Posted by alexfinlayson on June 10, 2009

The first session in our new setting was very interesting. The children were bubbling over with excitement at their new room and the cinema-like setting of the lesson.

I gave them no background to the game before we started; all I asked was that they try to put themselves into the shoes of the main character. They must pretend like they were in the game.

 Myst Intro

 

We stood on the docks for a long time throwing around ideas, words and phrases about where we were and what we could see. I have a mixed ability class, top-heavy towards weaker students and a lot of the phrases they were initially coming out with were nothing special (but the aim of the project is to help remedy this)

 

 

We took a lot of their ideas and entered them into a Wiki – at first I had the intention of letting each student type in their own work but due to slow typing speeds and a limited number of available computers I changed this – the students stood at the front of the room and read out their descriptions of the island, which I transcribed into the Wiki for them (I was very careful to avoid the temptation of correcting their grammar, this way it serves as a more accurate record)

We then copied the final document into Wordle so we could analyse the key words used by the group. I also printed the Wordle document and placed it on the Myst Island display board (we will refer to it later)

 myST 

 

 

 

 

 

As part of the unit I asked the students to purchase a plain-paged journal which they could use to work in.

The individual work for this session was to create a diary entry based on their initial exploration of the island.

 We were confronted with a tricky puzzle just as we were running out of time. 

 mech lnk puzz

 The object was to get the mechanism to read 2 – 2 – 1 by pulling the left and right levers – the problem being each lever moved two cogs – a great numeracy link for problem-solving and number patterns.

 The students took over from me and took turns until they eventually solved the problem – it was great to see the amount of encouragement they gave each other and the congratulations the successful student received.

 This opened another area of the game for us and I decided to leave it as we were stood in front of a linking book that showed a snippet to a new Age – the students’ reactions were excellent…

 “Why did you stop?!”mech link

“Keep going!”

“Can we stay behind?”

“Argh! Mr F, you always stop before the good bits!”

 NB Playing the game thoroughly before using it in class is essential for knowledge but also gives the added touch of being able to orchestrate and build suspense – slightly mean but great fun

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