Help me give my students a chance to engage in storytelling, world-building, and character and plot development by means of Dungeons & Dragons; fostering student interaction, creative planning, and opportunities for developing empathy, teamwork, and problem solving skills.
We’re a low income rural Vermont middle and high school of 300 that offers intensive mixed-grade Year End Studies (YES) Programs in June. Last year I offered a World War I and II class with historical board games, speakers, and a museum trip. The year before my YES students designed and painted a large mural of a covered bridge through the seasons on Main Street.
I love providing students with the opportunity to pursue individual passions, become creative, and interact together.
Fun activities for a wide array of student ages and abilities working together lead to learning, teamwork, and a stronger sense of community.
This engaging course will have students off of their phones, interacting and talking, problem solving, and planning as 6-12th graders participate in the creative fantasy role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). D&D involves pencils, paper, dice, miniatures, and a whole lot of imagination. If students select the half-day program, they will be Player Characters (PCs), using the Player’s Handbook to generate archetypal heroes (wizards, warriors, roughs, clerics, etc.), making decisions, and acting as avatars in quests created by other student Dungeon Masters (DMs). The full-day DMs will be using the framework and rules set up in the Dungeon Master’s Handbook and Monster Manual to build worlds and scenarios for 3-5 PCs. The PCs will be navigating these worlds and creating the stories through their responses to stimuli, dialog, interaction, and deeds.
Most lessons for PCs are centered on tenants of creative problem solving and collaboration, with the DMs taking on additional elements of leadership, synthesizing information, clear communication, flexibility, time management, and conflict resolution.
The D&D Core Rule Books, dice, and other resources are the essential mechanisms and frameworks to create these opportunities.
Furthermore, to enhance the content in the rule books, the DMs will be supported in developing interesting and appropriate story lines and plots with the aid of a guest history lecturer from Norwich University, as well as a Skyped-in author, and a D&D podcaster, to discuss important literary elements such as the hero's journey and components of good, dynamic storytelling.
I came to this idea through multiple student requests. This game fosters student interaction and creative planning, in addition to providing opportunities for developing empathy, teamwork, and problem solving. What is more, this course will run in future years, so any gift toward this course today will continue to give for years to come.
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