Location: Computer room
Skills Focus: Reading
Language focus: Descriptions of Nouns
As Mortimer Beckett your task is to travel in time to various points in history and gather fragments of broken objects, put them together and return them to the right time and place. Good luck!
I used this game with an upper intermediate class who were familiar with using a walkthrough to play an online game. The usual drill was that they’d open three windows in a browser and play the game, use the walkthrough and access an online dictionary (see above). You may want to find a different online dictionary that you or your learners prefer to work with.
A word of warning - This game takes a while to load and you get a rather long sequence where an advert plays before the game itself starts to load. I recommend getting this ready on multiple computers before a class so that by the time your learners get there the advert is over, the game has loaded and on each computer screen the game’s title page is there with the ‘Play’ button ready to press.
Remember that this activity uses three browser windows so having them ready with one on the game, the other on the walkthrough and the third on an online dictionary ready for when your learners come into the room makes the activity run a lot smoother.
Familiarise learners with the task activity. This was by either eliciting the task if the learners were familiar with it or by relay dictating the instructions to them:
You are going to play ‘Mortimer Beckett and the Time Paradox’. You will need to use a walkthrough, while you play the game, to help you when you get stuck on the puzzles and an online dictionary when you get stuck on the words. You’re not allowed a translation dictionary. By having three browser windows open the game will be less frustrating and easier to play. By the way, you should play the tutorial to get the hang of the game. Good luck!
I always stress that learners should use a definition dictionary and avoid translating into their native language. They can always ask another student or the teacher for a definition or an explanation.
If you get your class onto multiple computers and you haven’t had time to prepare then you could have a word document or a wiki space ready with the instructions and links to the three pages you want your learners to access. I use a wiki space page or a word document with hyperlinks saved on a drive which learners can access and use. If I do the activity this way I make sure my learners know that about the advert and when they can play the game.
While you play the game may prompt you to download the full version (see left). You can easily continue playing by clicking on ‘continue’ below the picture on the right. By clicking download one the left you can get a copy of the game. The advantages of this are that you can access a better version of the game and not use the internet so great if you have connection problems. You’ll have to have a copy of the walkthrough saved on a document and readily accessible on the computer as well as some good copies of printed dictionaries too but there’s no reason the same activity can’t go ahead.
- Get learners to continue playing the game using an online dictionary.
- Learners write down three words and their definition that they look up from home.
- In class students read their definition and others guess the word.
Hopefully by raising awareness of online dictionary resources my learners will feel more confident when it comes to accessing websites that are in English. During the course of the year I’ve been recommending sites to learners based on their personal likes and preferences. Sites connected with current news, films and encyclopedic information are just a few examples.