In 2017, Wizards of the Coast put Kade and Sarah in contact with one another, as both were employing the use of the roleplaying game in their classes. With Kade teaching 9th grade and Sarah teaching 11th and 12th, they have collective teaching experiences that range from special education courses, inclusion courses, honors courses, and advanced placement courses. For 2018 and beyond, Sarah and Kade are working to share their practices with the teaching community and build a network of educators who can rely on one another while trying out Dungeons and Dragons within the classroom. The game is a vast, highly mutable system, and they're aware that conversation is key in getting something like this off the ground.
Jumping out of the third person, we've had our students create characters and immerse themselves into the campaigns we've created that are based on our texts. Essentially, the students have to know the texts well in order to battle monsters, make decisions, and interact with NPCs. They have the ability to mutate the stories, to change outcomes, and to affect the books' worlds in ways previously inaccessible to them. While it's a little more complicated than that, you're encouraged to take a look at the first draft of Sarah's Beowulf campaign ideas and Kade's presentation from his conference in Austria. After posting these items and drafts online, they got a lot of attention and feedback from educators across the country. With all these educators interested in running D&D within the classroom, we've decided to create adventures for use within English courses and a central location for instructional conversation.
These adventures will include:
- Storylines mirroring that of the text or replicating universal themes and ideas
- Applicability for all course levels
- Well-researched content with citations and further readings
- Printables and materials that teachers can use as stand-alones or in a larger unit
- NPCs related (and unrelated) to the story
- Monster stat blocks that fit the text
- Writing tasks and assignments that fit into the campaign
- Side quests
- Tables for lessons based on inquiry, focusing on plot, diction, critical analysis, and syntax
- Emphasis on appropriate literary techniques, terms, and devices
The central location will foster:
- Educator growth and awareness
- A strong repository for materials and ideas
- A common meeting place to share classroom practices
- A place to make suggestions and work with one another
Ultimately, we're hoping to create a website, a series of adventures, and materials that any teacher can pick up and jump into if they're looking to run campaigns in class. Truthfully, we've found that our students are remembering plots points and characters far better, and we're certainly laughing together a lot more.
Links of interest:
- Beowulf: First Draft
- Classroom Closeup Episode: "Gaming with Literature"
- TEDx Talk: Teaching Literature with the Raspberry Pi
- LinkedIn - Sarah Roman
- LinkedIn - Kade Wells
Thank you for taking the time and stopping by the page!