Caine's Arcade: A Classroom Maker's Faire Day (Day 2 of 2)

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Students will investigate the processes and purposes of engineering in order to create a cardboard arcade game to use for a class unit review activity.

Big Idea

Use student imagined and constructed arcade games for a class unit review activity!

Notes for the Teacher

This is Day 2 of a two day lesson centered around a maker's theme.  For more on Caine and his cardboard arcade and how it inspired this lesson, see Day 1 of this lesson series.   

Today's goal is for each group to create their arcade game for a exam review session.  You can choose to extend this to three days so that students a have a full day today to create and a full day tomorrow to play and discuss, or you can keep your instructions more simple and have both the creation and play happen in one class session.  To make this accelerated schedule possible, you can assign each group to create questions for only one section of the exam unit content.  No matter how you choose to structure this activity, there are multiple benefits to all of your learners to incorporate this type of movement, collaboration, and tactile learning experiences, including focus, engagement, and the anchoring of concepts through implicit cognitive channels.  I can't wait to hear about your classroom experiences with this activity.  

The Classroom Flow: Makers, makers everywhere!

35 minutes

1.  Ask students to take out their brainstorming document from yesterday and review it briefly with their partners.  

2.  Remind students that today is our construction day.  Point out any materials you have on hand that they can use.  Ask them to take out their brainstorming document from yesterday to remind themselves of their sequence of tasks for their unique arcade game.

  • Note:  Keep it simple--cardboard, markers, strong tape, glue, string.  Students will have their brainstorming list from yesterday and will have assigned group members to bring any specialized materials.  

 3.  Ask students to go to their lab tables and begin constructing their game while you observe progress, make suggestions, assist with materials gathering, and provide additional support as needed. 

The Classroom Flow: Time to Play

15 minutes

1.  At the end of your maker session, call "Time!"  Announce that it is time to play each other's games.

2.  Ask each group to leave an index card with the name of their arcade game and their individual names on it.  This will allow other students to come find them if they have questions or issues with how the game is working during our play session.

3.  Let the students move throughout the room at their own pace and design.  

4.  At the end of the session, students will most likely ask you for more time the next day to continue playing.  If that an work with your curriculum schedule, I highly recommend it!  

 5.  You will see all different kinds of games and here are some of my student's ideas:  a monopoly board inspired review game, an arcade pinball game with movable ramps and review questions, and a wheel of fortune inspired game.  

Check out one of my students demonstrating how to use his arcade style game!

And here is another student explaining the rules of his wheel of fortune game.