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Review: “This new Edutopia video that turned argumentative paragraph writing into a game gave me an idea…”

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I’m reposting my most helpful posts from the first six months of this year.

Myriams-Photos / Pixabay

Edutopia recently posted the short video below about how a teacher “gamified” students who were writing argument paragraphs, competing to see who could find the most compelling evidence to support the claims.

I’m not sure I would do that exactly like her, but combined with the success of a recent game I tried (see I played a new learning game with my ELL students and it was a lot of fun, learning and formative assessment), it made me think I should try something like .

My classes have been going surprisingly well this year in the midst of the pandemic, although I’m having a hard time making them work.

However, I’d like to try something new when we get back from winter break to shake it up a bit, and here’s what I’m thinking:

One of the big challenges I’ve been working on is summarizing, especially in ELL social studies classes. I usually have partners or groups read a short section together and identify new words on each page and write a one-sentence summary (this is after we’ve done some pre-training on a number of key terms). These summaries are often simply sentences copied from the page.

So maybe I ask the groups to write their summary for the whiteboard page, show them when it’s time and score them for accuracy and whether they put it in their own words? As we go four or five pages into the section, when I highlight why some groups scored more than others, I imagine everyone’s summaries will improve (just like everyone’s writing improved in the game we did last week).

I don’t suggest doing this with every chapter, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t be worth a try.

What do you think? What are your other suggestions for how to “gamify” writing?

I am adding this post to Best posts about “gamification” in education – help find more.

Here is Edutopia’s video:

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