The Looney Academy
Where Learning is Fun!
At Looney Labs, we believe that teachers make a difference. Teachers are true heroes, each day touching the future as they teach. The Looney Academy strives to help teachers by providing quality content on the educational value of Looney Labs games.
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Our Games
Games that have strong educational content or have been used successfully in classrooms.

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A list of all our lesson plans.

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An index of how our games compare to the US National Education Standards.

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Our trifold brochure with overviews of the educational content of our most popular games.

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Conferences that teachers might be interested in.

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A virtual "meeting place" where all teachers are welcome.

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The Teacher's Lounge
May'07 - ¡Fluxx Español: es una manera divertida de practicar el español!
(it's a fun way to practice Spanish!)
  • Languages: diversity for the ear.
  • Translations: puns and play.
  • Fluxx Español Lesson plan: submitted by Teacher Ryan Full!

  • Growing up in a suburban, mostly white, middle-class, English speaking neighborhood, I never encountered the richness of other cultures until I was in college. I now have the good fortune to live in a neighborhood with many different types of faces, faiths and languages swirling around me. Spanish is the main non-English language around here, with Arabic, Hindi, Polish, Vietnamese and a whole host of other tongues also vying for attention. I treasure diversity in many aspects of life, and there was nothing quite so striking as requiring three different interpreters in my classroom during parent-teacher conferences.

    Having been an interpreter, I can appreciate the work that goes into good translation. I was a sign language interpreter (though I have forgotten more than I ever knew...) and good interpreting is as much art as it is vocabulary. Which word do you pick in the target language? Does the emphasis of the original word change the meaning? And what about jokes?

    Some of the best translations that I have run across are the Asterix books. Written in French, filled with wickedly funny stories and puns, they have been translated into over 100 languages. The puns found in the names alone are worth the price of admission. But what I found the most amazing is that the translators worked hard to preserve the feeling of the books. They did not interpret word for word - they made it funny in whatever the target language is. Think about it: what is a very funny pun in one language just won't work in another, because puns are dependent on the word interaction within the language. But the puns are fantastically fun in the Astrix books; the translators did their job right.

    How do we teach this to our students? How do we show them what good translation is, that it's not just word-for-word substitution? How do we encourage "diving right in" and not being afraid of mistakes? How do we raise multilingual students?

    One of the best ways is through play. It is through play that kids try out new skills, knowing that "it's just a game!" and therefore it doesn't have huge consequences. It is during play that students' brains relax and are able to take in new thoughts in a totally different way. It is through play that we often see the quiet ones emerge into their own.

    Looney Labs has a great tool for use in the Spanish and multilingual classroom in Fluxx Español. It was translated by our own Luisa - and it's the good style of translation to boot. She did not simply take each card and slap it into Spanish - she and Andy worked hard to find the right card mix and flavor, swapping some cards for others as needed to get the feel of Fluxx as it should be within the Hispanic American culture.

    This month, we offer an excellent lesson plan for introduing Fluxx Español to a Spanish 2 classroom. Written by Ryan Full, who teaches Spanish (and games!) in a West Virginia junior high school, it is one of what I hope will be a library of teacher-submitted lesson plans for the Looney Academy. Ryan is also an active participant in the Looney Labs Educational mailing list discussions - and I, for one, value his input immensely. So thank you Ryan!

    If you've got a lesson plan about our games that you'd like to see featured in an upcoming Looney Academy page, please send it in!




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