Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crucial Crew

Crucial Crew is an interactive game the ultimate aim of which is to teach kids to stay safe. Although it has a British bent, the tips it gives are valid for any country really.

The game offers various scenes which can be chosen from the Front Page picture menu. The menu is easy to navigate, all you have to do is just scroll the mouse over the pictures on the map of the city and choose a scene. However, bear in mind that not all the scenes are available for free, and some of them should be downloaded. Downloadable ones are not a problem because the kids can still play it.

If a computer lab is not available at school, then you can just assign different scenes to groups of children to go through at home and then they report back to the class what they did and what they learnt. Everyone listens and take notes. Then you give them questions that cover all the scenes played (e.g. What shouldn't you do if you are out in the dark?, etc) and they have to answer the questions. If they can't remember the questions, then they need to walk around the class and find someone who played that scene and ask the person. You need to make sure that your learners do this in English.

As a follow-up assignment learners can be asked to discuss and write their own rules for keeping safe in Yerevan. This can be done in groups and then discussed with other groups.

An Interactive Story

An interactive Story is a game presented as a book and it is a Choose your Adventure type of game. The game can be used with Elementary to Intermediate students and obviously will need to be adapted accordingly. As many other games, this can be used with focus on Reading, Speaking and Writing Skills (everything will depend on what the teacher wants to do with it).

The aim of the game is to help the girl to get home before it gets dark. On the way home she gets into various situation and the player has to take decisions for her. Depending on decision the course of the story changes.
As the game is not as long as some other digital games, it would be ideal to play it in the classroom with one computer connected to the Internet or on an interactive whiteboard.

It would actually be better to play it during the lesson because then you can help the learners with any unknown vocabulary. However, this can be done at home as well to develop learner independence. During the next lesson you can prepare a set of questions for the learners to answer (e.g. When does the story take place? What is the matter with the creature?, etc) and to tell the story itself first and then discuss how the story would have been different if a different decision had been taken each time.

As a follow-up writing assignment, the learners can be asked to write their own Choose Your Adventure and play it in small groups.

Escape Pear Room

Escape Pear Room is just one of the series of Escape games which you can see on the right and left-hand side of the game screen. These games are also worth taking a look at.

This game is appropriate for Pre-Intermediate level learners and focuses on prepositions of place and furniture/house vocabulary. The aim of the game is to escape from the house where the player has been locked up by his/her family (Complete reasons are given in the note which is under the moose head which is mounted on the wall over the fireplace.) You have to figure out how to escape the house.

First you should watch the video walkthroughs yourself to know exactly how the game is played and where to look for the puzzle bits which you have to put together before you can escape. Watching the videos will also help you with knowing what input language to expect and how to help your learners if they get stuck.

Here are the videos (the walkthroughs are for the older version of the game but as the puzzle bits are in the same places, the walkthroughs are still valid):
Part 1

Part 2

Diana Nazaryan found a written walkthrough for the game. Thank you Diana! :)

It would be a lot more fun if the game can be played in the computer laboratory of the school. If there isn't one, then you will have to set the game as homework and then get the students tell everyone where they found the puzzle bits and where they got with the game. To do this, they will need to take notes on where exactly each bit was found to tell the class. By listening to each other's stories the learners can start sharing tips, e.g. there is another bit under the pillow, etc. Learners take notes and try to find all the puzzle bits at home again.


Enercities is a computer simulation game which allows you to build your own city. It is suitable for Intermediate level learners and is worth trying for the vocabulary it offers to enable learners to discuss cities and ecology problems. The aim of the game is to build a sustainable city with population of 200 which is achieved at level 5. If the city runs out of oil and gas (which cannot be renewed), the game will have to be started again.

Tell the students that when they choose what factories to build to read the description of how they work, how much damage they do to the environment, etc.
For example,

  • Windmills - clean and cheap but they provide little power;
  • Coal Plant - burns coal to generate electricity; cheap and polluting;
  • Nuclear Plant - this nuclear plant does not pollute the air but has to store uranium.

Learners have to be clear with what they have to do. To achieve this make sure that before sharing the link, the students know what the icons mean and what they are expected to do. To make it easier for yourself, play the game a few times before assigning it to the class.

If you have other ideas, we would be glad to hear them. Also tell us how the game went with your students.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Welcome to your new blog!

I decided to create this blog for all the teachers who are going to take part in British Council Workshop on 19 April.

Here you have all the links and materials shared with you at the workshop. Apart from discussing the materials online, you can also share your lesson plans and teaching ideas or ask your colleagues for help.