How to Teach Mathmaker Lesson 1: Ninjas vs Medusa

by GameDesk


  • 1 'NumNum': mid-sized stuffed animal, toy, or ball
  • A group of students
  • 1 Teacher/ facilitator
  • Optional crazy wig for Medusa
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Introduce the rules and narrative to students.

    Step 2

    Divide class into two groups. Explain that half will play now while the other half observes and then groups will switch.

    Step 3

    Observing group should be instructed to think about what makes this game fun.

    Step 4

    A floor plan of what the game will look like at the beginning.

    Step 5

    Play Ninjas vs. Medusa

    Step 6

    As the game continues, players will become more scattered across the space.

    Step 7

    Gameplay continued. Pay attention to student strategy. Here a student throws the stuffed animal.

    Step 8

    Players may develop a number of strategies and use them in conjunction to reach the goal.

    Step 9

    Student strategy: Decoy (pretending to have the NumNum).

    Step 10

    Student strategy: Huddling together to hide the NumNum.

    Step 11

    Student strategy: Hiding the NumNum with a hug.

    Step 12

    Student strategy: Covering Medusa's eyes Note: Your students may use different strategies depending on such factors as age and game space.

    Step 13

    After a few games switch the players and the observers.

    Step 14

    Head to the classroom for the debrief.

    Step 15

    Put up the first slide. Focus on why students thought the game was or wasn't fun.

    Step 16

    Facilitate discussion on what made Ninja Vs. Medusa fun and what makes all games fun.

    Step 17

    Ask students about their strategies for winning and whether they could think of any more.

    Step 18

    Go to the next slide. Ask students whether or not all games have rules.

    Step 19

    Facilitate discussion on rules in games.

    Step 20

    Ask students: what else do all games have? Go to the next slide where you will write out student responses to this question.

    Step 21

    Facilitate discussion on the other components of games.

    Step 22

    Write student answers on the board.

    Step 23

    Facilitated discussion continued.

    Step 24

    Deconstruction of components of a game filled out.

    Step 25

    Introduce standard game design language.

    Step 26

    Finish up discussion by focusing on the concept of 'ramping' and the importance of competitive balance in games.

    Step 27

    Tell students that this deconstruction will help students create their own games in the future. Assign first homework assignment.