Attendance Black Ops to writing opiate
Anyone else missing a few students from class this week? Year 10 and 11 boys in particular, as of November 13th? Can we expect some bleary eyed teenagers to return to class next week?
Let use the dollar figures shall we, they are higher. And higher here, is more definitely better. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 earned a staggering $500 million in its first 24 hours. That’s over twice as much as the Xbox 360 exclusive Halo 4. More than lasts years debut figures, more than Skyfall ($87 million), a lot more.
Can anyone out there estimate the Black Ops effect on school attendance? Probably not, but I for one will be looking to exploit my students passions for gaming next week as part of our Flash Forward unit of write. Loosely based on the Flash Forward TV series, our students have been learning how to develop character before planning their essay. We used the first half of episode one to model how the director calls upon the senses to create a detailed sense of setting and character. How character clues are left open for the view to interpret (the class didnt quite get the romantic adult insults thing, why would they?) Next we used post apocalyptic imagery (much of it deviantart) and the second half of episode one to create vivid and emotive pictures in their own minds of what a post apocalyptic world might look like, to accelerate the creative processes. Not forgetting, that not one of the students could fully describe the ‘post apocalyptic’ image displayed on the whiteboard at the start of the unit. We took it nice and slow. And finally, we added a pinch of Robert Neville, and the opening audio from ‘I Am Legend.’
We have spent a good while crafting our opening, calm scene, lulling the reader into a false sense of security. The students have been guided to describing very calm, open scenes to contrast the chaos that is to follow. Opening beach, looking out from a naval ship and a New Forest setting all feature. The students are working hard on introducing the lead character without obvious physical and personal description, instead using comparison and inference to define their character. For example, the music they listen to on their 6:30 beach run, the surame on a uniform name badge, remembering a fathers words of advice. Some are making a really good stab at it.
Scene two focuses on the blackout. Describing what is happening in the characters life six months in the future (only a glimpse- 2mins 17secs). It is the shortness of these scene that makes the whole concept work for lower abilities students, they are chomping at the bit to write the disaster scence.
Finally, the scene three and the aftermath. It is here I want to use Black Ops 2. One, as a motivation to get them complete the first two sections knowing I will only accept high quality writing as their passport to the Black Ops lesson and two, to get them to experience the heightened emotion of game-play and get them to transfer it to describing how the world has been thrown into chaos during the blackout. I am confident that through this guerilla methods I will also be able to sneak in the literary concepts; figurative language, similes, metaphors and revisit structural concepts of sentence structure and punctuation; semi colons, dashes, commas. Using the gaming dopamine as a motivation to write with purpose. I am willing to accept that the motivation may be short lived, but their self-confidence in writing