Earlier this term, I jumped in on a 'Teach Like a Pirate' (#tlap) chat hosted by Shelley Burgess that looked at how we can use Pokemon Go in our classrooms. I was lucky enough to have a free period while the chat was in full swing, so I was able to contribute and gather ideas from the many, many other educators who were involved.
After the chat, we decided to try an #aussieED meet-up where Sydney educators could get together and share how they are using Pokemon Go in the classroom. Only a few of us met at Cathy Freeman Park in Sydney Olympic Park, but the ideas I got from those few teachers I met were awesome.
Teaching high school, it can sometimes be difficult to incorporate these ideas into your class as easily as you are quick stuck with the curriculum content you are teaching at the time. Luckily, I was about to do classification with Year 11 Biology so enter my idea to incorporate Pokemon Go into my lessons.
I took a screenshot of a number of the Pokemon I had caught whilst playing the game - only the ones with the half decent CP so I didn't look like a complete n00b and turned them into cards. The students were then given a sheet of A3 paper and asked to create a dichotomous key to help classify the Pokemon that they were given.
It was interesting to see who had played and who hadn't as they were able to decipher the information on the cards in completely different ways. Some were classifying based on evolution levels, some on CP, others were looking at simple things like weight and height. It didn't really matter, all I wanted them to do was to use the skill that they had just acquired and used it in a different way!
Here are some photos of our activity:
- comparing accuracy of digital technologies - comparing the distance traveled whilst walking using the Pokemon Go and FitBit apps and a standard pedometer
- using various Pokemon to introduce the ideas of habitats and adaptations. What makes some Pokemon better suited to a particular area compared to others? This idea can also be used to have the students create the ideal habitat for a Pokemon based on the information provided on it's profile
- discussing evolution - how and why do Pokemon evolve? How is this similar or different to other animals?
- Pokemon scavenger hunt using compass directions to learn how to navigate using a compass
- simply using Pokemon as a way to introduce levels - students can find Pokemon and answer questions based on the amount of 'CP' they wish to gain in that particular lesson