We wanted to explore ways to combine separate areas of student pursuit and thought children's interest in games could be a great channel. Children have already built up a lot of experience playing board games. They are very proficient at rolling two dice, counting the sum of those two numbers, and then moving their character a corresponding number of spaces accordingly. Many children even started to design their board games on paper.
Nevertheless, we wanted to show children that there are many more games and explored children's interests in clay, drawing, hot glue gun creations, and use their prior knowledge and interests through a role-playing game. Children helped draw a grid on a large table in our classroom to become the playing space for the game. We guided children to make a physical player piece to move around the play grid and use clay and the hot glue gun to make extended player accessories such as flying vehicles, buildings, and tools. They drew and wrote their character's information on their 'player page' and chose character attributes about special abilities, strengths, elements, and background story. Children could travel around with their friends or go on solo quests, and as they explore the world, a variety of exciting surprises and events would happen, with children co-narrating the story. However, what happens ultimately is decided by the roll of the dice. Using special 20-sided dice and math skills, children would need to roll larger or smaller numbers according to specific situations, such as looking for treasure, escaping from an erupting volcano, or fighting pirates. Children were highly engaged in this role-playing game, all in English, and readily used new English communication and language skills.