Are You Playing Pokemon Go?

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Aug. 2, 2016, 4:37 p.m.

I've also had to revise my play strategy so that I don't waste Pokeballs if I'm running low. When I reached level seven, I realized I needed additional information about "evolving a Pokemon" and "incubating eggs." I went back to Google and engaged in rigorous reading that involved close reading (careful and purposeful re-reading). I'm sure I'll be back for more when I realize I don't have another piece of critical knowledge.

Pokemon Go is designed to be a social experience that gets you up and moving. In the past few weeks, I've had daily conversations with other players as we searched for local creatures. We've shared information, locations of Pokestops, and play strategy. Players join a global learning community that puts players on the road to a common mission.

So does this game have any uses in our classrooms? Yes! Anything that is relevant to our students' lives has the potential to cognitively engage learners. Here are some ideas you might want to consider:

Have students:

1. Read the Pokemon names on the Pokedex. So far, all of the names I've seen are decodable. Students can sort the names by the six syllable types as a way of deepening understanding of how to decode unknown words and practice segmenting and blending multi-syllabic words.

2. Explain or write an explanation of how to play.

3. Explain or write an explanation of how Pokemon evolve.

4. Each Pokemon has a trading card that contains the weight, height, type, and a description. Have students compare the feature of each Pokemon and make recommendations about which ones are the best.

5. Create a new Pokemon. Use prefixes, root words, and suffixes to create and describe the new creature.

6. Explore augmented reality apps. They can easily create "talking" pictures using these simple to use applications. Aurasma is a great starter app to introduce.

There are so many ways we can use this craze to engage learners in practicing reading, writing, listening, speaking, creating, and problem solving. Keep it fun and authentic and watch your students' skills level up!

Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

About The Authors

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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