Level: Pre-intermediate – Upper Intermediate
Location: Connected Classroom
Skills Focus: Reading and Speaking/ writing
Language focus: In-game language
Game: Vortex Point 2
This is the second part of Vortex Point, a game and lesson plan we blogged before the summer. Follow that link to check out how we used this game in a connected classroom. We chose to return to Vortex Point as not only did we find it a great game to use in the classroom but also because our learners enjoyed it so much too.
You can find a copy of the Vortex Point walkthrough here. A walkthrough is a set of instructions that will walk you through the game from the beginning right through to the end telling you how to complete it. If you’ve got this in your hand while you are playing this with a class you can use it if you get stuck.
1) Before you click play the game dictate three questions as naturally as possible OR if you played the first part of Vortex Point recently then elicit elements about that story:
What is the story about? OR What was the last story about?
What are the names of the people in it? OR What were the names of the people in it?
What do they do? OR What happened in the story?
Play the opening sequence in the game and ask learners to write down three predictions about what will happen in the story.
- Start the game using the walkthrough. If the walkthrough is talk to an in-game character take control of the game yourself. If the the walkthrough is do something then ellicit suggestions from your learners as to what this might be.
- When text appeared I asked for a volunteer to read it out and focused on pronunciation elements and drilled with the class as a whole.
- Below is a screenshot of the first character that speaks and it’s the second thing she says:
- I asked learners about a number of language items as they came up that either I judged as interesting or they asked about. I encouraged them take turns reading out the speech and then asking questions about anything they weren’t sure about (whether it was language or story line).
- With a higher level that I wanted to practice writing and the narrative tenses with I would stop the game at intervals and ask them to write what was happening in the story using prompts such as “what did they say?”, “What happened?” and “What does your character (the detective) think he should do?”
- I continued the game in this way for half an hour (until I felt the activity would end on a high).
- It’s a good idea to get personal reactions from your learners on what they thought of the game. If they liked it and which bits they thought were fun.
- Another activity is to get learners to recount what they saw of the game as a story to a partner.
- Brainstorming new vocabulary elements from the game onto the blackboard and getting learners to create or expand on their Vortex Point dictionary.
- Next class you could ask students to come to the board and play until they reach the point you stopped at in the last class and then continue. Word of warning – some of your learners may have gone home and completed the game and so may reveal and spoil key story elements.