Recently the year 4 teachers in Nightingale Primary School where inspired to use the Wii in their Literacy Lessons. Below is the evaluation of their work.
Evaluation of African Safari on the Nintendo Wii
At the moment, we are using the Nintendo Wii during our Year 4 literacy lessons. We introduced the Wii game African Safari and used it as a stimulus to guide the lessons. As we were not, ourselves, experienced users of the game (nor had we explored all possible avenues the game could take us) our planning was fairly loose (see attached). The children were very excited by the prospect of using the Wii. They took turns (3 minutes each) to explore the Safari and complete the tasks given throughout the game. The tasks included searching for landmarks and animals and photographing them.
There are several assignments to complete on the game and we intended to complete one every lesson, then play the game (unlocked as a result of playing the game) as a plenary. In reality, one assignment took the whole week (as there were 47 individual tasks to complete) so the game was played at the end of the week.
As the class took turns to use the Wii, the rest of the class made notes on; the setting (what they could see, hear, smell) and notes on the tasks completed (animals/ landmarks photographed – including the details given about them). The follow up work included; writing a descriptive setting, giving a news broadcast from the Safari (speaking & listening) and writing a post card home (Art link).
We found the Wii to be of great benefit to the children. They remained focussed throughout every lesson and were excited and enthused when it came to doing their written work. They really engaged with the game and were given the opportunity to experience an environment and setting that they may well not have the opportunity to see in reality and all pupils were able to produce work of a high standard (at their level). We found the game to be of particular benefit to lower ability pupils, some of whom expressed more enthusiasm for their writing than we had seen all year.
Following the success of the first week, we are planning to use the African safari game again as we realised it’s potential for use in our Information Text unit. The game includes information about the African Safari as a habitat (our current science topic, and topic for the books we will write as part of this unit) and so we will collect and use the information given in the game.
I would recommend using the Wii, and this game in particular, to any teacher. The enthusiasm it creates from giving such a unique experience is extremely valuable to teaching and learning; an opportunity not to be missed.
This is great work from hardworking innovative teachers. More to come.