Part 4: Games in Education… Video Game Design to Teach STEM and Language Arts!

Welcome to another post devoted to learning in the 21st Century. As you may know I have several series posts I am writing at the current time. They include Digital Curriculum, Project Based Learning, and Website Evaluation. This post is a fourth in a series of posts dedicated to Games in Education.  Please take a moment to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or Email! I enjoy seeing new subscribers that I can network with! Your subscription means a lot to me! Also, you can follow me on Twitter at mjgormans and explore my wiki of resources at Now let’s get into the game… and have a great week! – Mike

In this post I would like to introduce you to a fantastic site that utilizes two of the games that I have covered earlier in this series. The site is, Level Up, and is hosted by Scholastic and sponsored by the AMD Foundation. Level Up features a series of standards-based lessons that provide students with the knowledge and tools to design their own video games. Best of all, it can be done right from the comfort of your classroom!

There are two versions of this easy-to-use program  created for your classroom. Here’s how it works:

1) Use either Game Star Mechanic  for for Beginners and Intermediate….  or use Activate for Intermediate to Advanced.

2) Teach the classroom-based lessons.

3) Reinforce students’ new STEM, language arts, and/or social studies knowledge by having them build an original game.

4) Encourage students in grades 7–12 to submit their video game designs to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for a chance to win scholarships and awards.  Students submit work to one of 108 Regional Affiliates of The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Guidelines for the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards will be made available on this provided link in the Fall 2011.

Plan 1 – In Gamesstar Mechanic  students will include the Core Subjects of Language Arts, Visual Arts, Science, Math The four below lessons and worksheets are perfect for classes interested in using basic game design techniques to reinforce core skills.

Lesson 1: A Mythical Tale – Students will use writing and research to learn about myths and storytelling.
Lesson 2: An Escher Encounter – Students will learn so much about art and design by designing their own games.
Lesson 3: Laws of the Jungle – Students learn about ecology by creating an environment for a game, complete with predators and prey.
Lesson 4: Recipe for Disaster – Students  use ratios to construct rules for a game and find out how mistakes are like bad cooking!.

Plan 2 – Using Activate students will explore the Core Subjects of Science, Math, Computer Science, and Physical Education The four lessons and five worksheets listed below are perfect for knowledgeable students looking for real-world applications of their science and math skills.

Lesson 1: Systems Thinking: Creating a Digital World – Students will learn that the world is made up of systems.
Lesson 2: Action & Reaction: Writing Rules for Your World – Students will observe Newton’s Third Law of Motion in action.
Lesson 3: Problem Solving: How to Improve Your World – Students will learn how to solve problems
Lesson 4: Build a World: Putting It All Together – Students will combine their understanding of systems and  meaningful decisions.

Want to learn more? Take a moment to watch these videos or visit these links.

Games for education Change – Why is game design a great classroom tool?

Inspire Students – Learn more about the value of using video games to inspire students

Teens! – Find out more about how to create and play your own video games.

Be a Game Changer! – Your students could win scholarships and awards by creating an original video game for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Institute of Play  – Check out this research on gaming in education.

I hope you learned just a little more about gaming and education. In fact I am sure you will find the lessons and resources interesting! . Make sure you get ready for my Web Evaluation Series along with further exploration in Project Based Learning and Digital Curriculum ! Please take a moment to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or Email! Your subscriptions mean a lot to me! As always, you can follow me on Twitter at mjgormans and explore my wiki of resources at Please share this post with other by using the retweet button below… and have a great week as you get into the game! – Mike 


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2 responses to “Part 4: Games in Education… Video Game Design to Teach STEM and Language Arts!

  1. Thank you for sharing this innovative idea! I’m looking for exciting ideas to engage my senior Creative Writing students. This is one idea I will certainly look into now!

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