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Edutopia recently published the short video below about how a teacher has “gamified” having student write argument paragraphs as they compete to see who can identify the most persuasive evidence to support claims.

I’m not sure I’d do it exactly like she does but, combined with the success of a recent game activity I tried (see I Played A New Learning Game With My ELL Students & It Was A Great Fun Teaching & Formative Assessment Activity), it got me thinking that I should give something like a try.

My classes have been going surprisingly well this year in the midst of a pandemic, though making them work has taken a toll on me.

Still, I’d like to try some new things when we return from Winter Break to “shake things up” a bit, and here’s what I’m thinking:

One of the big issues I’ve been working on is summarizing, especially in my ELL Social Studies classes. Typically, I have partners or groups read a short chapter together and, on each page, identify new words and write a one sentence summary (this is after we’ve done pre-teaching on a number of key terms). These summaries are often just copied sentences from the page.

So, perhaps, I have groups write their summary for a page on a whiteboard, show them when it’s time, and give points on accuracy and if they’ve put it in their own words? As we go through the four-or-five pages in a chapter, as I highlight why certain groups received more points than the other, I’m assuming everyone’s summaries would improve (just as everyone’s writing improved in the game we did last week).

I’m not suggesting we’d do that with every chapter, but I can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be worth a try.

What do you think? What are your other suggestions on how “gamify” writing?

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On “Gamification” In Education — Help Me Find More.

Here’s the Edutopia video: