In the recently relaunched TV game show, The Crystal Maze, the contestants are pitted against a series of challenges, whilst navigating their way through different zones.
In each zone, the contestants are asked what type of challenge they would like to face and they have four categories to choose from: physical, mental, skill and mystery.
I was reminded of these challenges earlier today when I was thinking about the types of lessons I teach. Sometimes the lesson is a skills-based lesson in which the focus is on the children developing a particular skill, or set of skills, and then applying them in order to complete the task. Others are knowledge heavy, some a combination of both skills and knowledge and then on a few occasions the actual objective of the lesson is kept a mystery from the pupils as part of the aim of the lesson is for the children to discover the objective themselves. This made me think of the different lessons as different challenge types (cue the Crystal Maze connection), and these were:
This then led me to think of each type of lesson as a different genre of video game:
- Skill = Action
- Knowledge = Strategy
- Hybrid = Adventure
- Mystery = Puzzle
Applying this idea:
In every lesson the children receive an “Adventure Sheet” that details the lesson’s objectives and the key things the children need to achieve in order to be successful (Success Criteria). At the top of each sheet, there could be a symbol to indicate what type of lesson they are about to undertake.
The children could then earn Knowledge or Skill points depending on the type of lesson and it would also help me keep a balance between the Skills content and Knowledge-based content of my curriculum.
Also, imagine a situation in which children could select the type of lesson they wanted to complete (this could be due to the specific activity they undertake) but knowing that they have to complete an even balance between the four categories.
Next Level = Difficulty Ratings