Level Up gives students in grades 7-12 the skills and tools to design video games. Scholastic has two versions:
Both levels reinforce core skills in STEM, language and visual arts, and physical education. Why games? Games provide context. See the Institute of Play on the value of video games in education.
Students in grades 7–12 can submit their designs for video games to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for a chance to win scholarships and awards. The deadline is January 9, 2012.
Beginner & Intermediate
To use the beginner to intermediate level, teachers can download the Gamestar Mechanic Learning Guide. The Getting Started Teacher Pack ( PDF, 7.4 MB, 59 pgs.) includes an introduction and five introductory lessons. Online Learning Guide Resources supplies more introductory materials and 50 more lessons. Scholastic provides four cross-curricular lesson plans.
Intermediate & Advanced
Activate! for intermediate to advanced level provides hands-on experience in game design while applying technical literacy, environmental awareness, and STEM skills in three levels of difficulty: Rookie, Design Apprentice and Ninja Designer.
For an introduction, teachers can download the Activate! Facilitator’s Guide. ( PDF, 446 KB, 12 pgs.) Other teaching resources are non-digital challenges that focus on important skills and concepts used by game designers. In Sportmaker Rookie Challenge, ( PDF, 214 KB, 5 pgs.) students design a new sport or schoolyard game. Students create a schoolyard game based on hydroelectric power concepts that requires cooperatation to achieve a goal in Apprentice Cooperative Physical Game Challenge ( PDF, 91 KB, 4 pgs.). The site has five more non-digital challenges.
The resources page links to other game making websites.