Game-Based Learning

Made With Play: Game-Based Learning Resources

Intrigued by game-based learning, but not sure where to begin? Edutopia's series takes a look at game-like learning principles in action and commercial games in real classrooms -- and offers tips and tools for bringing them into your own practice. The Made With Play series is a co-production with Institute of Play; visit their website for many more resources around game-based learning for both educators and parents, including a comprehensive games and learning reading list (PDF).

These videos were made possible through generous support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Implementing Game-Like Learning Principles

Q Design Packs from Institute of Play, based on the tools and methods used by teachers, administrators, curriculum designers and game designers at Quest to Learn and CICS Chicago Quest, provide detailed infographics, worksheets, and rich media resources to support school design, curriculum design, and professional development. There are four Q Design Packs currently available for download:

Video Tutorials for Implementing Game-Based Learning in the Classroom

Videos of Game-Based Learning in Action

Collaborative Student-Led Learning at Quest to Learn (2013)

At New York City's game-based learning school Quest to Learn, sixth graders take risks in the process of designing a Rube Goldberg machine, which enables more creativity, innovation, and engagement.

The Caterpillar Game and Real-World Math (2014) 

Sixth graders learn math concepts in tandem with lessons about perseverance and stratching to achieve goals through a board game called Caterpillar. Download the Caterpillar game board (PDF) and game-play instructions (PDF) to use in your own classroom. 

Creative Role-Play Encourages Deeper Science Learning (2014) 

Learning how the body works becomes an adventure as sixth grade students embark on a biology-based narrative journey at game-based learning school Quest to Learn. Download the Dr. Smallz curriculum (PDF) to use in your own classroom. 

Building Formative Assessment into Game-Based Learning (2014)

In a sixth grade classroom at Quest to Learn, ongoing feedback is embedded throughout the course of a collaborative geography game called Galactic Mappers. Download the Galactic Mappers Rules (PDF) and Game Cards (PDF) for use in your own classroom.

How a TEDx Mission Connects Students to Real-World Goals (2014)

In a 7th-grade classroom, wellness lessons are framed as broader "missions" to get students engaged with relevant topics in their community. At the close of the project, they share what they've learned in TEDx-style talks. Design your own mission with the TEDx Mission Pack

Using Commercial Games in the Classroom

  • The Minecraft Cell: Biology Meets Game-Based Learning (2013)

    Middle school students create their own 3D virtual worlds and learn lessons about communication, collaboration, and digital citizenship through the first-person sandbox-style game called Minecraft. Get tips for implementing Minecraft in the classroom.

Minecraft Resources on the Web
LittleBigPlanet Resources on the Web
Mangahigh Resources on the Web
  • Reinventing the Science Fair With Portal 2 Puzzle Maker

    STEM teacher Don LaBonte used the Portal 2 Puzzle Maker to engage his students in demonstrating math and science problems through game design. The Puzzle Maker is a powerful toolset that allows students to produce their own content from within Portal's game world. 

Portal Resources on the Web

Other Edutopia Resources on Game-Based Learning