Game based learning

By J. Cole

In Year 7 English classes, students have been studying Antigone by Sophocles, as part of their Year 7 TOTAL Citizenship Unit.

As a final piece of work, I asked students to create a game that linked to the theme of Citizenship. Photos are some of the games they made.

Students were able to work individually, paired or in groups. They were told they should use colour, the game should be fun and with clear rules.

The students worked independently or collaboratively, as they chose. I was so impressed with the quality of their work. Differentiation occurred naturally and all students completed the task successfully. One pair decided to make a computer game using elements of Minecraft.

To make their games feel ‘authentic’ I told the students that I would share the best four games with a Year 5 class (via SC) to play during a PSHE lesson. This was highly motivating for the students and is reflected in the quality of what they made. The games would then be voted by the students as to first, second and third place- winning merits.

The students briefly shared their games with each other and then had time to play. What really impressed me was the conversation afterwards. Students made such incredibly mature links and connections on their observations. One student commented that they liked a game they played, but there was no reward for being a ‘good’ citizen. The class then relayed that is just like real life. You don’t always get a reward for being good or doing the right thing. I never expected such philosophical observations as a result of the game play.

The students needed to really think about the creation of their games and the complexity of Citizenship was reflected in their play. I am really proud of what they achieved!



  1. Excellent use of the Design Qualities when creating this learning opportunities for your students. It was interesting talking to you today about what the kids learned and how you considered those qualities throughout the process. It was both fun and engaging because the students were committed, interested, and persistent with their efforts.

  2. Jenny, these games look great! I would like to come and collect the games this week for my class to use during PSHE time. I will get my class to feedback on the games.

    1. Great, I have six games for your class to play. They vary slightly on the theme of Citizenship e.g. one is specifically for Digital Citizenship. My students will love the feedback from your students.

  3. Jenny,

    My class really enjoyed playing the games! Here are their comments.

    We played the ‘Digital Citizenship Game’. The game was very enjoyable. It reminded us of Snakes and Ladders. The game is fun but it has a serious message that you must stay safe online. Seleem Tamara 5Violet

    The game we played was called ‘GC2016’. I really enjoyed it because it is a mystery game and you must figure out who the murderer is. You do this by answering questions to receive clues. The questions are all about how to be a good citizen. Salma Kouchouk 5V

    We played ‘Problem Solver’ which is a game that is similar to Monopoly. I learned how to make generous donations and therefore be a good citizen. Ali Koussi 5V

    Our game was called ‘Daredevil’. We really enjoyed it because it was like Monopoly. We learned from the game how to work as a team. Ireny Morcos and Ahmed Zaytoon. 5V

    We played the game: ‘Are you a good citizen?’ Our game was really fun and it taught us how to solve problems and scenarios that we might encounter in real life. Talia al Sharif 5V

    1. I put the feedback on the IWB board for the class to see as they entered the room. They were so excited to see the comments from the Year 5 students. They all crowded around the board to see if their game had been chosen and what the students thought of it. I can really see that you could measure how much they care about their work when getting feedback like this- it’s especially meaningful- not from a teacher, but from other students. For them, it was an authentic experience. I asked them to reflect on how it felt to get the feedback and I could see that when you want students to feel value in what they are doing, you need to provide them an audience for their products.

  4. This is great! Am going to share the comments with the students today. They will be really pleased!

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