WildCraft Play: Gamification of Nature Based Learning for Engagement and Inquiry
WildCraft Play is a Confidential and copy written program developed and owned by Jamie Black, and is not to be used for the development of your program. This is just an example to show how game design can influence practice in positive ways.
Jamie is currently working at Arrowsmith Independent School teaching outdoor survival skills.
She started developing WCP in 2008, and has developed it over the years, workshoping and refining the program with the children, and now she is doing her thesis is on it. Video-ethnography (studying both self and children) while implementing the program
WCP generates a visceral dynamic engaging experience using gaming culture in nature.
Facebook page and videos https://www.facebook.com/WildCraftPlay/
Targeted for ages 8-12 because that's the age range that the ability to do tasks on their own with limited guidance yet they are still open to feedback and willing to fully play
Themes used include guided discovery and inquiry based based practice, Coyote mentoring,
8 shields model, and first people's ways of knowing as well as old traditions: holistic traditional education (Jon Young)
It relies on how enthusiastic you are with the kids, they appreciate are being acknowledged enthusiastically for their efforts-- encouraging them- for example, they have a new costume piece :"You MADE this!! Wow!"
You must HOOK them:
For example, Jamie will arrive wearing very cool leather pouch with a huge knife, which brings in a perception of risk which is the hook for the kids.
Jamie also creates engagement for future activities by planting the seed. "Who here knows how to build a fire?" But they don't build a fire for an entire week so they have a week of anticipation to build a fire all week - to get that one match.
Build a story by using simulations (dramatic storylining) to engage the kids. "You are the only survivors from a plane crash. What do you need to do?"
Progression of the day
Based on the 8 shields model of lesson planning
"Hmm, good question! What could you say or do to teach ... Did you hear your tone of voice, how could you say that differently?"
Allow them to to experience fear/blame/judgement/disappointment but without feeling failure
Calling to their attention to how they are interacting, how could they do that differently
Wildcraft play is a vessel of certain aspects- props include all aspects of video games
Nature connection is more of a backdrop to the game, if they are engaged in the game they won't be afraid of the nature, they will get the life experiences by PLAYING the games and learn by doing.
Example of a WCP experience: https://www.facebook.com/WildCraftPlay/videos (finding of the Ring)
Karina Strong is currently a full time Education student at VIU in the Post Bac program. Her undergraduate degree is in Social Work and Small Business Management. She is a professional Circus performer and owner of Vesta Entertainment, a multifaceted entertainment company on Vancouver Island.