- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Libraries Unlimited (May 30, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591584922
- ISBN-13: 978-1591584926
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.7 x 9.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,699,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Playing to Learn: Video Games in the Classroom
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"More than 100 video game activity ideas for grades 4 to 12 are included in this volume that helps teachers integrate the study of video games into the classroom….For each exercise, a brief background is provided, the activity is explained, and follow-up discussion ideas are offered….Teachers could aos use some of these activities as viable reserach topics for students." - School Library Journal
"Hutchison has written this guidebook to help teachers integrate the study of video games into classroom practice….Hutchison provides a valuable, concrete way of engaging students in reading and writing by integrating a ubiquitious aspect of popular culture into classroom practice….Highly recommended. This book can form the core of interesting exploration and implementation by professional learning groups in your school. As well, it offers new opportunities for school library-classroom collaboration." - Teacher Librarian
"The author does not envision a classroom where computer games can be played, but one where students will be analyzing, designing, and creating films using video game footage. The book is designed to be used in traditional classrooms where teachers will use their students' familiarity with video games as a stepping stone to teach higher order thinking skills. This also can be used in classrooms where students will discuss, research, and write papers on the various topics raised about video games. The book is arranged alphabetically by activities. Each activity has a brief introduction, description, discussion, grade level, and subject area. For educators wanting a different approach to teach various traditional skills in the various disciplines, this would be a good purchase." - Library Media Connection
About the Author
David Hutchison is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Brock University. He is the author of Growing Up Green: Education for Ecological Renewal and A Natural History of Place in Education.
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But if you're looking for specific activities, this is a great book. I'm only a 4th grade teacher, so I can't implement many of these ideas, but I shall do so when I teach in a higher grade in future years.
Can and should video games be considered as instructional tools, just as books, magazines, video and film are today? Yes, says "Playing to Learn" author David Hutchison, Associate Education Professor at Brock University. In this new text, published by Teacher Ideas Press, he presents a number of concrete ideas for integrating video games into English, Social Studies, Math, Science, Health, PE and more.
Writing the forward to this text, James Paul Gee (author of "What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy") acknowledges that video games won't replace reading or writing. At the same time, he says, fans of video games are creating blogs about the topic and becoming active participants in fan based web sites.
Video games are a cultural phenomenon: one in which all educators should become more familiar. Reading "Playing To Learn" will certainly help all educators get up-to-speed in this exploding youth media culture. Interspersed with activity suggestions and lesson plan ideas, Hutchison has wisely included several discussion articles.
(This is a trend that I am in favor of: giving young people some current event readings and resources around a topic. Unfortunately, many of today's textbooks don't provide current readings nor corresponding critical thinking questions.)
In a discussion of the video game "Bully," several questions are posed for which the teacher might engage her students in a discussion. Another article raises a series of questions regarding video game violence and its reported impact on player attitudes and behaviors.
Content related to media literacy
Classroom teachers will find a host of ideas and suggestions for how video games/media literacy might be integrated into instruction. Among them:
Body Image: students discuss the relationship between body image and the physiques of both male and female video game characters
Hype/Fact vs. Opinion: students compare and contrast previews and reviews of a video game, looking for evidence of hype and fact vs. opinion
Foley Effects: students replace the sound effects in a game with those they have captured in and around school and home
Historical Place Analysis: students compare and contrast historically accurate video game environments with photos and descriptions of the same real-world settings
Newscast Production: after studying the structure of conventional newscasts,
students apply what they've learned to creating a live newscast of their own that reports on the video games news of the day
Race Relations: students examine how different cultural groups are represented (or misrepresented ) in video games
Video Game Review: students write a review of a game they are currently playing.
"Playing To Learn" is a wonderful new edition to the world of media literacy and youth media culture. Because it is aimed at the elementary-12th grade audience, it would be a welcome addition to any school library media center collection. I wouldn't be surprised to see both students AND teachers checking this one out.