In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-8, students use BrainPOP resources to explore basic concepts of geometry in interactive game play scenarios. Students will verbalize and apply connections between math skills and problem-solving opportunities.
- Apply basic concepts of geometry to interactive game play scenarios.
- Verbalize and apply connections between math skills and problem-solving opportunities.
- Internet access for BrainPOP
- Computers for pairs of students
- Interactive whiteboard or LCD projector (optional)
Preparation:Preview the DuBlox game and familiarize yourself with the basics of game play. You may also want to preview the BrainPOP topics related to the game and plan how they will fit into your unit of instruction.
- Tell students that they will be exploring a puzzle-like logic game called DuBlox. Their challenge is two-fold: 1) Figure out the secret to mastering the game (determine how the game works), and 2) make a connection between the game and what they've learned about geometry. Let students know they should be thinking about math strategies and concepts they've learned, because their math skills will help them figure out how to win the game more quickly.
- Allow students to play the game in pairs or independently. Challenge students to problem-solve with their partner and avoid clicking on the question mark button or the help button.
- Have students pause in their game play and meet for a whole-class discussion. Which math strategies can be applied to this game? Write down students' suggestions and show the BrainPOP movie related to one (or more) of the topics they suggest. (A list of relevant movie topics is provided at the top of the page, or you can select from the entire Geometry and Measurement Unit).
- Ask students about the strategies they used during game play. What do they think is the goal of DuBlox? What happens if a glass tile falls? How do the orange diamond buttons work? What does the yellow circle button do? You may want to project the game for the class to see and click on "Instructions" (which provides the same information as the question mark icon) to show the basic overview of game play, and then allow students to build the discussion around those points.
- Give students additional time to play the game and unlock more levels. As students work, walk around and ask questions to facilitate their thinking and encourage students to explain their strategies.
- Afterward, allow students to click on the "Help" button and watch the DuBlox Walk-Through Videos which show how to master the game.
- Challenge students to create their own game walk-throughs for Dublox or another GameUp math game. They can use Jing or another simple and free screencasting program. In their walk-through, students should explain the objective of the game and various strategies they used to master it. Upload students' videos to YouTube, SchoolTube, Vimeo, or another video-sharing site and allow them to use one another's screencasts as they explore educational games in class or at home.