Sunday, January 22, 2017

Creativity Game with Google Slides - Abe & Einstein

This post contains a link to the template you need to play this game, but you'll also want to see this post  which explains how to run these creativity games with your class using Google Apps.

My most popular posts on this blog are the creativity games and exercises. Over the past year I have been translating some of those ideas into a Google Slides format.

When played as a classroom game, this one allows 3 - 5 creative students to compete to make up what two random well known people would say if they met. For example, what would you overhear in a chance meeting between Spider-man and Santa Claus? How about Harry Potter and Justin Bieber?

The whole class participates by voting on their favorite response. The creative thinking required for this game can be a challenge, but I've seen middle school and high school students have a lot of fun with these games.

I also have suggestions at the end of this post for other ways to use the activity, possibly with less time or allowing more students to create the fun answers.

First, here's the flow of the game when used with the whole class. There is a video that shows this process below.

  1. Choose 3 to 5 students to be the contestants in the game. They should sit at the front of the room. They'll need either paper or a computer, depending on how you want them to share their riddle answers with you.
  2. The slideshow for the game (at a link below) is displayed so the class can see it. It will usually be on the game slide, slide 2.
  3. The teacher draws two random names from the group and displays them for the contestants to see.
  4. The contestants get two minutes to write a few lines of what those people might say if they met. Each student sends his or her lines to the teacher.
  5. The teacher reads them to the class and they are entered in the game slide so the students can see them.
  6. The students in the class now have the chance vote on the their favorite haiku (using a classroom response system or possibly Google Forms).
  7. Points are awarded to the contestants based on the number of votes they received.
  8. Steps 2 - 6 are repeated three or four times, then scores are totaled to determine a winner.

Here is the Google Slides presentation that you'll need to play this game or to do any of the activities listed below.

Click to have a copy of the Google Slides presentation added to your Google Drive. 

Video Overview

This 4 minute video shows how to play these creativity games with a class. It contains a different game about answering a riddle instead of writing dialogue, but the process is the same. (If you're interested, here's the post about that game.)

Tips and suggestions for other ways to use the activity

  • Obviously this chance conversation should be brief. Students should try for 2 - 4 short lines.
  • To indicate who is talking, students can use initials. So using the Spider-Man and Santa Claus example, a student could write:
    • SC:  Hey Spider-man, can you teach me to crawl walls like that?
    • SM:  Sorry Santa, lay off the milk and cookies then check back when you look this good in tights.
  • You might not be able to fit the whole dialogue in the boxes on the game slide. Read the full submissions from students, but for voting, t's usually sufficient to just sum up it up a few short words to help students remember each one.
  • Usually the students make funny conversations in this game, but you could require different criteria for the "best" one.
  • Have some things to show the rest of the class or to talk about while the contestants write their dialogue. See my post about creativity exercises to get some ideas that will involve everyone.
  • It's easy to change any of the names that I made for the game. Just draw one out and double click on the text. Use names of people related to what you're studying in class. Or pick names of people at your school, like your principal or the custodian. This gives the students a chance to practice being funny while still being respectful. Note that I did put "Your Teacher" in the mix!
  • You can have the rest of the class write their own ideas for dialogue too. After the vote, have some of them share what they wrote if they want.
  • If you don't want to devote much class time to the game, just draw two words at the end of class and have all students make a haiku for homework. You can select your top 5 and have them vote on the best one as a warm-up in a later class.

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