Edutainment: 3 ways to combine education and entertainment

Since we are at the beginning of a new term or school year, we like reading articles and posts that are going to be useful.

As you know, gamification is the new in-thing, so I will provide 3 ways of using edutainment in your classroom.

A paramount point to be taken into consideration, entertainment wise, is that, if it is misused (wrong or unclear purposes) it can trigger parents and/or supervisor’s complaints, or even worse, students might not see the point of the task or might even not learn anything from it.

Instead of surrendering to not using edutainment in class because of the terrors you listen around, please give it a try. With clear purposes and goals, you can achieve a lot! After all, a large number of scientific studies are confirming what we have always known: when we combine entertainment and education we may achieve wonderful delights and deep learning.

1 – Legos (for young learners and teens)

These can be used in lessons or activities that are task-based or project-based. Students will have to work in groups or pairs, they will have to use the target language in order to give instructions to their peers, they will have to reason with others, listen to different opinions and come to a conclusion. It will work on their creativity and engineering skills as well as  problem-solving skills, motor skills and, of course, their social skills. Remember that your goals have to be attained and the students’ experience in class has to be one of a kind.

There are also a lot of studies in the field of experiencing different situations – the more pleasant the experience was, the more memorable it will be. The opposite is also true.

Rods also serve this purpose, although legos are much more attractive to young learners, in my opinion.

2 – Scrabble

Do I need to say more? This game helps with the spelling and vocabulary. It will work on the intellectual and arithmetics as well (which is the part of mathematics that concerns with the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of numbers). And you can add to that the work on affixes (pre and suffixes), for instance: play the word ‘arithmetic’ in scrabble – 0 anagrams, 0 prefixes, 5 suffixes, 11 word-in-word, 0 cousins, 2 anagrams, you score 17 points whilst learning.

3 – Battleship

Right, you develop students’ strategy and logistics skills, spatial parameters, the use of the target language, etc. However, I really like the development of negotiation and persuasion skills as well. It can be done using their gadgets or the interactive board.

You can use these games little by little, if you are still ill at ease or gamify your tasks in the classroom, anything can be turned into a game, just remember the goals.

Beatriz Solino de Francisco

Beatriz holds the Cambridge Train the Trainer and Mods II and III of the Delta. She has a Licentiate’s degree in English Language from PUC SP (2007). CPE level of proficiency and she has been teaching for 15 years. She has also been working as an Adults/Advanced courses Coordinator for 4 years at Cultura Inglesa Jundiaí. She is currently doing a Company Management MBA at FGV.

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