Play Testing: Evaluating Design Effectiveness.

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SWBAT make new connections and develop their understanding of "The Catcher in the Rye" by playing and critiquing another group's game.

Big Idea

Today, it all comes together: game design, play-ability, and communication in our own mini-game convention.

Introduction and Welcome: It's National Static Electricity Day

3 minutes

I welcome students at the door, and remind them they need the Board Game Critique sheets for class today. In order to hold the students' attention today, I begin by blowing up a baloon, rubbing it against my hair to build static, and stick it to the board so it hangs. Once students settle into class, I welcome them to Board Game Play Day, and to "National Static Electricity Day." I ask students how many of them have been shocked on a doorknob in a dry room, or one with a thick carpeting, as a quick hand-raised poll. I also tell them that the static-hung balloons were how my family  decorated for parties when I was younger. The party idea serves to connect to game play, and transitions into today's board game project play-through day. 

As always, Daily Holidays serve to build a sense of community and student ownership in the classroom. As my students are still getting adjusted from being back after winter break, with two additional days off for weather. By taking the time to build community, I can get the students back to being motivated for school. 

Playtime: Board Game Play Through

45 minutes

Before students split into their groups, I go through today's steps with them them. I have also written these on the board to ensure students both see and hear the steps.

1. Get together with your Literature Circle/Board Game Design Groups.

2. Ensure everyone is here; if the Chief Playtester (CP) is absent, someone will have to fill that role.

3. CP's take the game, directions, and all pieces to the next group, clockwise. (We established who goes to which group in class yesterday).

4. CP's introduce themselves and their games to the next group.

5. CP's explain the objective and rules of the game to the group, and begin playing. 

6. As the game is played, students use the front of the Board Games Critique Sheet to take notes on their reactions to the game. 

7. For homework, students complete the back of the Board Game Critique Sheet, in complete paragraphs. 

In this process, students share their ideas, discussing the games and the concepts from the novel, and propel the game and their participation forward by responding to the game and and its portrayal of the novel (SL.9-10.1c). In playing the game, students work together, justify their own answers and respond to and include each others' perspectives (SL.9-10.1d).

In identifying specific details from the novel (RL.9-10.1), students answer game questions that address the motifs and themes in “The Catcher in the Rye”: identity and the journey; adulthood/growing up, prejudice, and trust (RL.9-10.2), and review the development of Holden Caulfield as a character, and how his journey and interactions with others reveals and comments on these themes (RL.9-10.3).

Groups will make any necessary revisions based on players' feedback on the critiques: develop and strengthen the game's rules, questions, and review of the novel by revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most needed based on the feedback and critique they receive from peers (W.9-10.5). In completing the evaluation, students write reflectively and critically (W.9-10.10).

 As students play their games, I circulate the classroom as CP's teach the game, listen as students ask the game's questions in order to review, and keep tabs on the games. I informally evaluate the CP's as they teach the games to the other groups. I can also clarify as students struggle with questions or resolve any disputes that may arise. 

Two Minute Warning: Wrap-Up, Reminders, & Homework

2 minutes

With two minutes remaining, I ask students to pack up their board games, return the chairs to rows, and remind them the Board Game Critique Sheet is due tomorrow; remember to answer in complete paragraphs! Tomorrow, groups will read their critiques and revise their board games.