Student Gamers Lesson Plan: Evaluating Video Games

Submitted by: Rachael Tarshes

Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

In this Student Gamers lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 6-12, students use BrainPOP resources to explore the role of a video game test. Students will create their own evaluations for video games and test various games out to see how the games match up to pre-determined criteria. Finally, students will debate the pros and cons of using video games in the classroom.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Learn about the process of making a video game
  2. Evaluate a video game based on established criteria
  3. Debate the pros and cons of using video games in the classroom

Materials:

  • Student handouts
  • Computers with access to BrainPOP

Vocabulary:

gamer, gaming, evaluate, graphics, software, concept, collide, polygon, illusion, texture, interactive, glitch, compelling, immerse

Preparation:

Working as video gamers will be a relatively new idea to most students so there is no required content to cover before the lessons begin. Students will work independently, in pairs, and as a whole class. Be sure to make photocopies of the Activity if you choose to use them.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Day 1: Introduce the lessons with the letter from Tim and Moby asking students to help test and evaluate games. Show the BrainPOP Video Games movie so students can learn about the different parts that go into making and playing video games.
  2. After watching the video, students can take the Quiz to review and reinforce what they have learned.
  3. Have each student complete a Gamer Bio Sheet (such as the Resume Bio Builder) to evaluate their current level of knowledge working with games (video, online, apps, etc.)
  4. Day 2 (or Days 2 and 3 if possible): Give students time to play whatever games they want (from BrainPOP's GameUp or other sources.) If needed, pick a category, such as “Science”. Take note of some of the conversations students have with each other, how they problem solve, games that are liked and disliked, etc.
  5. Day 3 (or days 4 and 5 if possible): Randomly assign students a game. Allow them time to play the game for one class period and then ask them to review it during the second class period.
  6. Final Day: Have students start working individually to complete the BrainPOP Video Games Activity for the Pros/Cons of children using video games. Then have students work in pairs followed by a full class discussion. Students could also discuss what they liked about being a video game tester and what challenges they faced.