Stop Disasters!

Stop Disasters! is a disaster simulation game.  You can choose from five types of natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, tsunami, wildfire and hurricane.

Students have to think about what precautions can be taken to reduce the impact of natural disasters.  There are missions, challenges, students are given a budget etc.  It would be really interesting to use this in class or set it up as homework and students report back to class.

3rd World Farmer

Educational Gaming

Age: 10+
Levels: Medium-Difficult

3rd World Farmer can be used with kids and teenagers to educate them on the problems that families in other countries face to make ends meet.  I’d suggest students try playing the game then report back to the class on the difficulties that they faced.  They could also write a story or a narrative on what happened to them.

‘3rd World Farmer lets you experience some of the hardships of farming in a poor country. Will you prosper despite corruption and lack of basic necessities? Or will endless wars, diseases, droughts, and unreliable markets perpetuate your economic disadvantage and spell your ultimate doom?

3rd World farmer is a serious game, developed on a very slim budget. It is not precise in all details, but covers a wide range of topics. It is meant to be both educational and slightly provocative, with the sole intent of making people think about these topics and, hopefully, realize that each of us can make a difference in helping to end poverty.’

ESL Games+

Educational Gaming

ESL Games Plus offers interactive online games for learning and teaching English as a Second Language.

Learning games are mostly suitable for teaching ESL Kids and Teenagers. There are activities for teaching and practising English grammar, vocabulary, sentences, listening and pronunciation skills.

Playing these fun educational games, students learn English vocabulary, sentence structures, grammar, listening, pronunciation and phonics.

My favourite games are the Rally Game and the Pirate Board Games.  They were particularly helpful during a recent course I taught in which the group consisted of five male Qatari teenage beginner students.  It was very hard work trying to motivate them and it was quite a forgettable class.

Monkey GO Happy

I’ve been using Monkey GO Happy with my very young learners to teach them useful vocabulary, imperatives and prepositions.  The website itself can be a little annoying with lots of flashing images and clickbait sites. 

The games themselves however are fun and students enjoy trying to find the monkeys/elves etc. There are puzzles that need to be solved along the way and quite intuitive to solve without many instructions.

I walk the students through the games asking them questions about what they can see and where the different objects are.  Students are really motivated to respond as I then let them find the eggs/monkeys on the IWB.

Little Alchemy

In Little Alchemy students begin with four elements, fire, earth, water & air, and then make different combinations to create new things.  

They can then progress to make more complicated things such as planes, yoda (the character form Star Wars!), animals, supernatural beings, inventions and lots more.  It is really good for project work with students reporting back to the class on what they have made.

I use it to introduce the zero conditional and get them to explain to each other what they have made e.g. ‘If you add earth to water, you get mud’.   There is also an app which is free to download.

Alice is Dead

Age: 13+

Levels: EasyMedium-Difficult

You have arrived in Wonderland… but Alice is dead. Can you figure out how to escape Wonderland? 

According to a study by Lu et al (2013) this game can help students develop their reading skills and enhance reading efficacy.  It offers around 36 sentences and about 300 words.  The level of difficulty is easy and the suggested completion time is 20 to 25 minutes.

If you’re spending over 25 minutes and give up, here’s the walk-through to help:

Finished?  There’s also an Alice is Dead 2.  This version has more than 60 sentences and about 600 words.  Difficulty is medium and the completion time is 30 to 35 minutes.

And finally, Alice is Dead 3.  The lexical content is again increased; 80 sentences and around 1000 wordsIt is rated as being difficult and so completion time is between around 40 to 45 minutes.

Reference:

Lu et al. (2013) Understanding the Confidence, Motive and Self-efficacy on Influence of Adventure Game on English reading. Educational Research (ISSN: 2141-5161) Vol. 4(3) pp. 257-263, March 2013