Sonic and Mario Olympics 2012 for wii.

In 2 Palm at Hovingham Primary we have used the Wii in Literacy, using the game ‘Endless Oceans’ and in PE sessions, using the game ‘ Zumba.’ Both games have engaged the children – ‘Endless Oceans’ had the children all engaged and follow up work resulted in them describing fish they had encountered with meaningful adjectives. When using Zumba, all the class followed the moves – even though only one child was holding the remote. Although as staff we were only learning about how the console worked, the children – even those who were not familiar with a Wii were eager to use the controls and almost instinctively could navigate the games.

I have read articles about Games based learning –  &  linking to the Pora Ora game website states –

Play and games add to learning the elements that ‘chalk and talk’ generally cannot, for example:

  • Enjoyment
  • Motivation
  • Competition
  • Persistence
  • Resilience
  • Problem solving in context
  • Every child being engaged at their own level

With this in mind – I have looked at the wii game Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games 2012 – and considered how it could be used in Primary Maths. I think it will be most useful for lessons in KS2, and will endeavor to collaborate with KS2 colleagues and do some lesson study together on the use of the game.

Initial thoughts on how Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic games wii – could be used in Primary Maths.

This screen shot shows the range of sporting events in the main section if the game – there are further sections which pupils would no doubt enjoy exploring, but might be better saved for ‘Golden Time’ or used as rewards. The range of events shows that results will include data presented in the form of distances ( long jump) times and points. With in most of these sections there are further choices of games, and then once a game is selected there are options as to how the game is played – 1,2,3 or 4 player options – either with multiple controls or as turn taking.

When an event is selected from the main menu, it will often open another sub menu with a further choice of events. With the selection above – the 100m sprint was a simple event to play and was very quick, so the amount of time during a maths lesson spent playing the game would be minimal, yet sufficient to engage pupils and give the lesson a context from which to base the Maths.

The above is a screen shot of the results of a race on the 100, sprint. The game was easier enough for a complete novice like myself to play – and WIN! The results produce data for 8 runners and are times to the third decimal place.

Pupils could

  • Estimate – before the race.
  • Placing the scores on a numberline
  • Round the times
  • Find the difference between times.
  • Find the average time
  • Represent the data as a graph.
  • Compare the data with 100m date from their own PE lesson, or from previous Olympic races.This screen shot shows the results from the Rhythmic Ribbon event – which you can see I did not master! The results for this event are in points – pupils could sort the events into those that have results as points, times, distances and goals. Again this event provides data with numbers going to the third decimal point.

This screen shot shows results from the 4x100m relay – so pupils could work out the average time for the team members, dividing the final times by 4. This screen shot shows results for the long jump – which of course is an event which the children could actually do themselves in PE and measure their own jumps to compare with those on the game, and those in actual Olympic competitions. Again all the Maths activities mentioned previously could be applied to the data from this game.

The games I have looked at so far all produce data with results which have 3 decimal places – so the maths would be appropriate for upper KS2 pupils – other games such as Badminton, Table tennis and Football produce scores of a much simpler nature, and these would be appropriate for data handling activities at KS1.  At present I haven’t used the game with pupils, I will update my blog when I do so. I am also very keen to hear from other teachers who have used this or similar games with Primary school pupils – especially in a Maths context.

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