Anyway, today's post follows on from my last Gaming Glossary entry by focusing on a lesson that involves use of avatars. This lesson plan is also first in the series of 'lessons about games' as it does not require any games to be played or accessed directly during the lesson.
Suitable for: Introductory lessons with new classes (or review with other classes); young learners and adults; beginner and up
Necessary materials: Some of your own game avatars would be useful; PC and projector
Display these portraits in class on the projection screen and ask your students if they know what kind of images they are (eliciting the word avatar in the process). Then, ask the students to briefly discuss these questions in groups:
- Which games do you think these avatars are from?
- Do the avatars look like anybody you know? Who?
An alternative way to kick off the lesson, that my younger learners really enjoy, is to tell the students something like this:
We have had a few lessons together now and I think you know a few things about me... But do you know everything? For example, do you know that I am not just a teacher? I am also a Jedi Knight!! It's true! I protect the galaxy from the evil Sith... And I am a Druid Night Elf! I fight against the evil Horde... And I am a very successful football manager who has won the Champions League with three different teams... It's all true!! Look...
Encourage questions at this stage about your avatars and the games they are from, using the chance to go over useful vocabulary as you do so (special abilities, skills, level, class, professions and so on).
Next, ask students what games they play that use avatars. Explain that they will introduce themselves to the class as one of their avatars, first giving an example with one of yours as follows:
I fight with two lightsabers and I use the force to defeat my enemies but I am always careful to stay on the light side.
I have a Corellian Defender-class Light Corvette spaceship and a droid called T7-O1.
I like visiting Nar Shaada and helping people in danger.
When they are ready, students pair up and introduce their avatars to each other. Encourage questions to get more details.
Then, ask each student to tell the class about their partner's avatar, again encouraging questions from the rest of the class.
During the pair work and whole class phases of the lesson, make sure you note down any common language errors or especially creative examples of language use and go over them on the board.
Lower level learners could be asked to create a 'character card' rather than a written bio with brief notes, like the example below: