Monday, October 13, 2014

Escape the Room

Today I explored the world of Escaping the Room Games! If you're not familiar with what escaping the room games are, I'll give you a brief overview. It's an online game where you can point and click to explore a world of your choice. You are trying to complete a task for your character by reading the pop ups directing you what to do. 
I tried a few games but my favorite was Griswold the Goblin who is on a quest to fix his television. He 's just a a dopey little guy who lives in a cave. I probably played this game for about an hour! I thought this would be an interesting game to use in an ESL classroom.
The great thing about this game is that some directions come only written, while others are given orally and in writing. I think depending on student level this game could be used in a variety of ways. 
For example, with intermediate learners I think it could be beneficial as a whole class to introduce the game. The game would be brought up on the overhead and one student would navigate while the other students in the class worked together with where Griswold should go and what he should do. The teacher can prompt the students if they seem to get stuck or clarify any words they don't understand. 

Whats nice about this game is that in the bottom left hand corner of the screen are Griswold's capabilities. One is walking, the eyeball is for him looking at something more closely, the hand is for touching and him being able to move things around, and the mouth is for him to talk. This could be something that you have the students write about. This would be a simple introduction to how to play the game, but also have them begin developing vocabulary and using descriptive words. An ongoing activity throughout the game could be to find descriptive words to describe what they see or keep a running list of words that they're unsure of. Later on, students could work together to develop a word wall of all the vocabulary associated with the game. Eventually I would have students work in pairs to play the game. As their language skills developed I would establish checkpoints for where they should go up to in the game. Then I would have them narrate Griswold's adventures for that day. They should be able to write about any new characters he met, where he went, what it looked like, or anything else that gives insight to what they did in the game that day. 
The role of he teacher would be a helper. The teacher should monitor student work and answer questions. I also think to verify that the students know what they're supposed to be doing. In order for students to meet the learning objectives they must actually play the game and complete a piece of writing that goes alongside with playing the game.
This is a cute game worth checking out. It's a way for students to practice reading, writing, and listening while having some hands on experiences.

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