Location: Connected Classroom
Skills Focus: Reading
Language focus: should, giving opinions
You are pioneers on a new world and as Captain you need to listen to the people in your group in order to make the best decisions. Have your learners got what it takes to survive and protect the community?
Occasionally there are a few games out there that don’t need an activity sheet but rather should be played for pleasure and Quandary is such a game. The background story is delivered in the form of a cartoon with speech bubbles for each of the speaking characters. If the player wants they can listen to each of the speech bubbles and hear how the sentences are pronounced (see above).
Other elements of the game involve cards that show colonists who have something to say about different situations that the pioneers have to face. You need to read the cards to decide if they are fact, solution or an opinion (see below)
You accumulate points at the end of the round depending on how successfully you’ve done the task. Then, you decide upon two of the possible solutions and see what a section of pioneers think about each one.
I liked this game as it proves quite engaging, has a few episodes you can play without having to register and there is plenty of reading practice. I allowed learners to use an online dictionary if they really wanted but encouraged them to guess as much as possible on some of the vocabulary. For instance, in the cartoon as shown at the top of this post the noun ‘turnip’ appears. Learners asked what this meant and I simply asked them what they thought it meant. In this way you can negotiate meaning and there is much more learner generated language. If in this case the learner asked “What’s a turnip?” and I said “What do you think it is?” the answer they gave was generally “A plant you grow/ food/ a type of vegetable”. Enough context and visual cues with the written text for learners to confidently guess meaning.
Here are some other questions that I would ask the class when not playing the game:
- Do you like the game?
- What characters are in it? Are they nice people?
- What has happened?
- What will happen?
- What decisions did you make in the game that were good/ bad?