Reply To: Trainer Monitored Discussion- Get children engaged in meaningful learning

  • Anna

    October 23, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Keying into the kinds of interests kids have can help provide clues as to what sorts of learning they may benefit from. For example, my school-age after school program is fairly small (at most about 7 kids, usually about 4 or 5) and mostly boys. They are at an age and temperament where if they aren’t interested in an activity, they simply won’t engage with it, which can make it difficult to find ways to teach them particular skills and lessons. They are highly imaginative, but also their interest in games is very oriented towards the sorts of things they play in video games at home, namely combat and violent themes. I’ve been trying to find a way for them to explore and develop empathy skills, which their interests normally don’t lend themselves to. However, I am in the process of working on introducing table top RPGs to the classroom. The two oldest kids have already expressed interest and enjoyment of Dungeons and Dragons, and while that particular game is a bit too complicated for the younger kids in the class, I know of another game system that was specifically designed for ages 4-10. The game will hopefully appeal to their interests in imaginative play, adventure, and ‘fighting bad guys,’ but will also provide an avenue for me to slip in lessons about empathy in the form of creating adventure storylines that are better solved through seeing things from the opponent’s perspective, and having a conversation where they teach the opponent to see things from *their* perspective, rather than simply fighting them.