In the Halls of the
Games that have strong educational content or have been used
successfully in classrooms.
A list of all our lesson plans.
An index of how our games compare to the US National Education Standards.
Our trifold brochure with overviews of the educational content of our most popular games.
Conferences that teachers might be interested in.
Connect with other teachers through the EDU Discussion Mailing List.
A virtual "meeting place" where all teachers are welcome.
with ideas, thoughts and comments you may have.
The Teacher's Lounge
Welcome back! I've pushed aside last month's column and made room on the Table-o'-Stuff here in the Looney Academy Teacher's Lounge for a whole new topic – for you to read when you have time. Again, that's the joy of having a monthly column – I get to leave stuff up and let you busy teachers find time to check it out. So grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage - coffee or tea most likely, but it's the lucky teacher who's stuck a package of cocoa in their desk - put your feet up and enjoy.
We keep saying that Looney Labs games
are good for students, and should be used in classrooms. I mean, it
makes sense: we manufacture games and we want to get them into as
many markets as possible. But that's not the real reason. We don't
make "educational games" – we make great games that
Let me say that again: We don't make educational games. We make great games that are educational.
It seems like a small distinction, but
for any teacher who's gone out to the Teacher Supply Store nearest
them and browsed the "educational games" section quickly
realizes that great games – ones that are fun, unique and
challenging – are few and far between.
We've all seen the hundreds of Monopoly
and Trivial Pursuit knock-offs, or the endless "move along a
path and learn facts" games. Or the games that feel like they
are worksheets in new packaging. There are too many games that
strive first to be educational and then, sometimes as an
afterthought, try to toss in a little fun too. And they often don't
achieve either goal.
The only thing worse than
a bad educational game is having to take lunchroom duty on a snowy
day – in a middle school. By yourself.
Then along come some great games. They
are designed first and foremost to be games – with all that implies: fun, social
activities with a "let's play that again!" feeling. Good
teachers find these games, play them, love them and then realize
"hey... these would fit great in my classroom!" Word
spreads among teachers and the games slowly find their way into
classes all over the country.
Looney Labs games have followed this
kind of path. Chrononauts
was not meant to be a classroom tool for teaching cause-and-effect,
"what if" or even the basics of history. It was designed
to be a fun game to play. And it is! But any social studies, civics
or history teacher worth their salt has only to glance at the game
and see all sorts of wonderful applications for their students.
The same can be said of Treehouse,
. And while Fluxx
Español is a perfect way to practice language skills in
any middle school or high school Spanish class, that's not why it was
We've been told over and over by
teachers who love our games that they are perfect for their
classrooms. People have incorporated these
games in all sorts of settings, meeting all sorts of different
educational objectives. From mainstream to special ed, from
elementary to university – our games have found homes in
I've sat down and gone through state
and national standards, finding parallels so that teachers can defend
the use of these games in class. And then we've pulled together ideas from teachers all over about how they use our games. And we've finally put all that
information together into a brochure. They're full color and have
graphics in them, so they're not exactly small... but here's the
... and here's the inside.
They're designed to be printed on one page, front and back, and
Eventually, the Looney Academy plans to
expand these PDFs into full, interactive web pages. But I
didn't want to hold this resource back if you can use it. Please
feel free to print it out and show it around to your colleagues.
Also, these pages will be ones that grow as we gain knowledge –
so if you feel that there's a national standard that is being met by
any of our games – but is not listed on the brochure, then drop
me a line and I'll put it on the web page. Also, I'll be looking
to add the correlations that our games have to all the various state
standards – any ideas you have toward that goal will be greatly
Teachers have the toughest job in the
world – you've got to satisfy students, parents, and
administrators, as well as state, local, and national officials and
community expectations. You've got to get through the entire
curriculum as approved by the board and meet all national and state
standards. So every moment in your classroom has to be one that lets
you get one more thing ticked off your checklist. Aligning
Looney Labs games to the standards, and getting that information out
to teachers is the best way I can think of to encourage our students and
future leaders in getting classtime to play some great games that can perhaps
help them change the world.