In attempt to bring Gamification to my class this year, I am turning my Advanced English 10 class into a survival game. The world has been ravaged by a plague that has turned the dead into reanimated bodies – zombies! I introduced the summer scenario to the students prior to the summer and explained how the point system would work in the Zombie Apocalypse version of the class. In the class, each student came up with the name of their town in which they will act as defender. Each student is responsible for keeping their townspeople alive, well, and thriving. At the beginning of the summer, the students were told their town had 300 inhabitants. This 300 points represents the 300 points the summer work is worth. I thought it was an awesome way to look at your class points – as living breathing entities! Every point counts because each point has a face! (Maybe, that is a little creepy) Each activity or exercise represents a skirmish or an all-out battle. The activities are accompanied by a number of townspeople in danger of being…well…eaten by the zombies. If a student receives a 10 out of 10 on the activity, they have saved their townspeople and survived the attack. If the student receives a 7 out of 10, it is as if three of their townspeople met their demise at the hands of the undead!
The students are required to read three novels and write five reflections on each novel by the designated due dates. One book and set of reflections per month. To keep with the theme, I wanted theme to read books about the undead. I wanted the kids to see the face of humankind when met with danger. What do these characters do when everything goes to hell. The first book is a teen dystopian novel called Rot & Ruin, and the second book is I Am Legend. (I know I Am Legend is about vampires, but they are undead vampires!) The third book was trickier to choose because I wanted a nonfiction book and since we haven’t had a decent zombie apocalypse aside from a man on bath salts in Miami, I had to find something else. Instead, I chose to stick with the theme of survival. I wanted the kids to read a real story about people having to survive a catastrophe. I decided on 102 Minutes: a collection of stories from the people who survived the 9/11 attacks inside the World Trade Center.
We have created a Google+ Community for the summer work since each student can write their work in the Google Drive and share it all with me. However, I wanted the kids to do a little more than just read and reflect – I wanted the kids to use different technology as they progressed. They will write some reflections using Ommwriter or Q10. They will mindmap/outline their reflections using Mindmeister. They will also post Youtube videos that they feel best accompanies the novels. I also have secret Geocaches scattered about the real town. The kids can use their GPS device or Smartphone to find the caches and earn extra townspeople or “immunity” from one of the reflections. I feel the best way to learn technology is to dive in and figure it out, so I’ve created simple tutorial videos for the kids who may need some extra explaining, but I hope many will play around with the programs and figure out how to use the applications themselves.
We are working into our second summer month and as is going well!
Check out the Zombie Apocalypse Pack – Here!
Check out the Townspeople Tally – Here!
Check out the supplemental Zombie Site! – Here!
Check out the Tutorials Page – Here!
Check out the Zombie Apocalypse Soundtrack – Below!