Role playing games offer an excellent method for teaching kids leadership skills. However, the games must be designed to achieve maximum results. This article outlines tips for development and implementation. They benefit anyone who works with children (teachers, aides, camp counselors, etc.).
- Determine the topics.
Here, the point is to first determine what you want the topic to be. Leadership is broad, but you must narrow the subject matter. Relevant topics concerning traits of leaders, for example, include self-control, respect, choices, compassion, confidence, kindness, responsibility, character, honesty, courage, and gratitude. Likewise, brainstorm topics to cover with children about leadership principles.
- List your objectives.
Games offer innovative and fun ways to learn about a subject. Still, they must have clear and measurable objectives. With that said, begin by deciding what you want kids to learn about each topic. The objectives drive the design portion of planning.
Sample objectives are as follows: To learn what leadership is and is not, To learn the qualities of good leaders, To use media, To meet different learning styles, To engage, To measure learning, or To obtain feedback.
- Brainstorm creative scenarios.
After you settle on the topics, the next step is to design the scenarios. Aim for at least two activities per topic. Why? Two strong activities that hit the nail on the head will leave a lasting impression.
At the same time, how many children will participate in the activity? A role play can involve two persons and observers, or it can involve the entire class. All in all, it depends on how you structure it. Will the participants follow written instructions or respond to questions or statements?
- Write prompts/scripts.
A role play comprises instructions for saying or doing certain things. Therefore, writing clear and concise prompts or scripts is imperative. For instance, if you want one person to shout during the role play, you must state it on the card or slip of paper.
- Gather materials and supplies.
Be creative. The more dramatic the activity the greater likelihood the information will stick. Do you want the children dressed in costume? Do you need objects (balls, marbles, colorful stickers, notecards, etc.)? Will you need a laptop and screen to display pictures or information? Even though it’s a role play, the game can comprise elements to meet different learning styles.
- Write a lesson plan.
Think of each activity as part of the curriculum. Thus, a 1-page lesson plan is necessary. This overview states the name of the game, objective(s), amount of time needed, materials, step by step instructions, and discussion questions. At length, a written plan provides consistency and a road map for others to follow.
- Develop discussion questions.
Aside from generating discussion, questions help to measure learning, clarify concepts, and get feedback. Furthermore, the latter gives insight for improving the activity.
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