Windosill (http://windosill.com/) is a beautifully made, attractive and original puzzle game that works well in the connected classroom as a way of stimulating speaking.
The following lesson plan shows how the game can be played in a connected classroom (i.e. a classroom with a computer connected to the Internet), which is perhaps, where the main benefit can be had from using this game with learners.
1) Start by showing the first screen of the game (below) and ask the learners questions about what they can see: What is this? (it’s a game) What do you have to do? (explore), then ask the learners to tell you what they want you to do.
As they give you suggestions, tell them that you won’t answer if they use the word ‘click’ and that they should choose a better verb related to what exactly they want you to do with the objects. I suggest following up each action with another question (“What happens when I…”)
Here are some example language they should be able to produce from your prompts, and which you can later look at together once the game has been played (the actual language they use will depend on the level of the learners).
What do you want me to do? (What happens when I…?)
- touch the clock (a door opens)
- touch the ‘rock with holes in it’ (flowers grow)
- move the 6 ghostly objects (the spin and make a sound like bells)
- move the blue rectangle (it reveals some shadows)
- move the three light blue lights (it bounces like a ball)
- move the light blue cube (it also bounces/it sounds like it’s made of wood)
- touch the eye (it blinks / it rattles)
- touch the light bulb (the light turns on) - NB: try to ensure this one is done last
2) The image above now shows the first screen of the game with the light turned on. You can then explore the objects more and ask them to describe what happens when you touch them…
- What happens when I touch the sea? (it moves and you can hear the sound of the waves), etc.
The learners will now soon discover the point of the game, which is to move the wooden toy train from one room to the next. Again, ask the learners to tell you what they want you to do until they discover the solution:
- Turn on the light
- Push the cube through the hole above the door at the bottom right
- Open the door and push the train through
3) Continue with the subsequent three levels. Insist on good language from the learners (write the model sentences on a board to look at later) – don’t perform the tasks they want you to do until they say them well.
Here are the instructions for what they need to get you to do. Of course, they will come up with more language trying to figure out how to solve the puzzles. If they do happen to guess quickly, then you can always linger a while before solving the puzzle to explore the other features of each room (in fact this is half the pleasure of the game).
- Pull the cord to open the curtains
- Take the dot (cube) off the letter i
- Put the cube in the hole, then open the door and push the train through
- Click the cloud to main the raindrop fall
- Click the puddle until a worm pops out
- Click the top of the tower do the bird appears, and give it the worm.
- Use the cube in the door and move on
- Pull the tops of the sphere off until there is just a tiny ball left
- Put the ball in the cylinder
- Click and hold on the doughnut until it fills the cylinder
- Push the top of the cylinder down
- Click and hold on the pyramid to make it shoot out a ball, and catch the ball by clicking and holding on the cube
- Use the cube to open the door
- Click on the face of the square as much as you can to open as many boxes as possible. Eventually you will find the cube
- Pull out the cube and then use it to open the door