To help them brainstorm ideas and keep their thoughts organized, I put together a simple handout (below). I also included a link to a Pinterest board I created for them to peruse for inspiration. The students were all at different planning points, so most of my time was spent having deeper conversations about ideas for hands-on activities, ways to make a trifold display "pop", and overall how to leave an impression on their judges. It always amazes me at the creative ideas the students have and how they have tied those ideas to potential careers.
As our Seniors are nearing the end of their Capstone experience, one of the final things they need to do is to determine how they will present their career exploration and findings to their judges. Each student has a folding table to use for their presentation unless more space/resources are needed. In the past, we have had some pretty amazing tablescapes!
This is one of my first adventures in 3D printing! I decided to print a doll house table as a prototyping resource that was available for students. I know I am a very visual person and many others are, so I thought I would have some mini-tables on hand so students could visual their space (if need be). They aren't completely perfect, but that is okay! This is all about prototyping after all, right? :)
Many students used the little tables to help visualize the ideas in their heads. And something that was even more exciting was seeing the students look at the tables and then think about how 3D printed objects could complement their tablescapes. I can't wait to see what they look like the night of the Capstone Exhibition!
Each year, our senior class participates in a Senior Capstone project, culminating in an Senior Capstone Exhibition night. During the Capstone experience, students select a career/vocation of their interest and delve deep into what that might incorporate. They find a mentor, have hands experience in the field, write a research paper, and then have to give a presentation about their findings and experiences. It gives them great insight as well as some real world experience for life beyond high school.
Each year, Kelly McGee and I do a "presentation" about research. As the students are already seniors, the things we are sharing are not necessarily new, but often a refresher or a different way to do something that they already know how to do. Kelly and I like to put our own little twist on things, so last year we decided to share information through a Breakout EDU game we created (themed like the game Clue). As always, there were things that we loved about the game and some things that needed a bit of tweaking if we were going to use it again.
Day 1 - Breakout EDU Game
This year, we decided to use our Breakout EDU game again (with a few tweaks). It ran so much smoother this year with our changes and the students were totally into it! One thing about this game is that we set it up as small stations. We had 7 total stations, so we had 5 groups of students (always 2 less than the total number of stations). We do this so that they always have a place to rotate to once they complete a station. Inside the boxes we placed cards of either teachers in the building, items in the school, or places in the school. We drew cards at the beginning of the game (the "who dunnit" cards - "who dunnit" in terms of a staff member who took an item from the school and hid it somewhere else) and held on to those until the end. So far, I think this is my favorite way of running a Breakout EDU game as the students are totally into until the very end trying to figure out "who dunnit." It makes it fun that they are places, people, and items they would see at school so the conversation always carries beyond the class period. In between hours I also switch the cards around so I have different cards for the "who dunnit" possibilities.
Some examples of the cards we used:
Another thing that I love about doing a Breakout EDU game in small stations is that the students still have plenty of opportunities to move around, but are not spending time searching for clues and hints. Everything they need is provided on the table for them, and they need to figure out how to use it. I feel like I have more meaningful conversations with students about the content that I do with a large group Breakout game (don't get me wrong, I do love those kinds too!).
The way we counted out the clue cards, it was possible that someone could receive all the clues to correct guess "who dunnit." But based on the wild cards we placed in the boxes, it also made it so a group would have to guess on an item or too. It creates such energy and excitement as the game progresses. Over the course of the 2 days of leading this game (16 groups), only 1 group was able to correctly guess "who dunnit." Many of the others were off by just 1 thing of their 3-part guess, but it didn't really matter to the kids - they had so much fun in the whole process!
Day 2 - Debrief
We knew that just doing one day of a Breakout game would not necessarily be enough to present information and have them understand how the research tools function. So, for Day 2, we planned a little Research Debate. We had 4 different main topic areas that we broke apart into 8 groups. Each topic area had 2 different resources that students needed to present and defend. Groups were randomly assigned a topic area and resource and had 15 minutes to research all they could about that resource to be able debate why their resource/tool was the superior topic area tool (links to my resources below). We also placed a microphone into the equation in which they had to use when debating for a little bit of a different atmosphere.
The debates progressed in intensity throughout the day and I think this was a GREAT way to do a game debrief of the resources we shared in the game, students to have a chance to delve deep into 1 particular resource, and practice speaking to an audience. At the end of the hour, the students could share 2 citation tools, 2 databases, 2 plagiarism checkers, and 2 research sources.
At the end of the day, Kelly and I agreed this was one of the best Breakout games we have facilitated as well as an in-depth debrief. I know not everyone who does a Breakout game has an additional hour to do a debrief the way we did (as the game was kind of non-traditional as well), but highly recommend it! The students walked away with a better understanding of the information we were sharing, and hands-on practice with resources, tools, as well as presentation skills. I feel as though taking one day to do a Breakout game and then the next day doing a full hour debrief/debate really let us get deep with information as well as provide an engaging learning experience for the students. A win-win all around!
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