Game Mechanics in the Classroom to Engage Learners

Every Classroom Matters Episode 204

Game mechanics are elements of gaming that you can design into your lesson plans to engage learners. Teacher Michael Matera shows us how to use them. We can engage students, even going up to year-long junior high version of “Game of Thrones” like teacher Michael Matera has done. (OK, Game of Thrones fans, don’t worry, there are white walkers or red weddings. Just fun, learning, and excitement! 😉

michael matera game mechanics

Today's guest, Michael Matera, is a middle school social studies teacher who runs a sixth grade game-based history class . But don't think it's just points and leader boards! Truly gamifying a classroom is so much more, but it's a lot easier than you think.

Michael is the author of Explore Like a Pirate: Gamification and Game-Inspired Course Design to Engage, Enrich and Elevate Your LearnersGet some inspiration and ideas for little and big things you can do to spice up your classroom and engage learners.

Essential Questions: A Walk on the Wild Side of Game Based Learning

  • What are game mechanics and how can you use them in the classroom?
  • What is purpose-driven learning?
  • How can you select specific words to encourage student excellence and have students want to achieve those things without feeling like it's always a lecture?
  • How can you start the class with mini games related to your topic they get everybody excited and engaged?
  • What are some of the central themes to Michael Matera's new book Explore Like a Pirate?
Hey teachers, let's learn from teachers! Michael Matera is just another fantastic example of great teachers in the classroom innovating and sharing! His book is fantastic! I highly recommend it!

Educator Resources about Game Based Learning and Michael Matera

Dive Deep: Other Episodes About Game-Based Learning

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Game mechanics in the classroom

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3 thoughts on “Game Mechanics in the Classroom to Engage Learners

  1. I really enjoyed this post and I find the use of gaming in the classroom to be very useful. As mentioned in other blogs that I have read, teachers need to think of innovative ways to encourage students to actively participate in the classroom instruction. Gaming in the classroom also helps students who have a hard time grasping the concept when supplemental material is made available to them. I’m sure some teachers are skeptical of incorporating games into curriculum, but Michael states that test scores have gone up, students are taking notes on their own, and he no longer hands out study guides. Year-over-year students are outperforming each other! Collaboration among students has increased and they want to learn and excel when placed in groups. I think it is important to note that when teachers create innovative content, ideas, and classrooms something amazing happens with students. Students find their passion to learn and succeed at a higher level when the focus is taken off meeting test scores, but rather aiding them to meet the given standards.

    We need to be open to new ideas. This is great!

  2. I really appreciate this post. As a preservice teacher I found this post very helpful. Incorporating games and activities that the students know and love is such a cool way get them engage in a lesson. I hope to be able to incorporate this in my future classroom!