George Lucas Educational Foundation

Made With Play: Game-Based Learning Resources

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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

  • "Rolling Out" a Game (2015)

    Teachers have a number of options for introducing new systems to a game-based lesson, including the fishbowl, playing together, and beginning with a simplified version.

  • Managing In-Class Gameplay (2015)

    Whatever your classroom management style, in-class games can work when you invoke your usual rules, assign student roles, facilitate effectively, and allow processing time.

  • Three students play a game together around a tableUsing Games for Assessment  (2015)

    While assessment is built into some games, teachers can assess learning after gameplay by having students create a mod or strategy guide, or develop game scenarios.

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

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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
Historia 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

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Other Edutopia Resources on Game-Based Learning

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Comments (5) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Mark Collard's picture
Mark Collard
Experiential Trainer, author & keynote speaker. Founder & director of playmeo

These resources are excellent. Groups like Institute for PLay truly contribute to the powerful development of our children, and may I say, adults too. Play is such a fundamental element of equipping young people with the essential skills to become engaged, intelligent and socially developed citizens of our communities. There should be more of it. Thanks for contributing.... Mark Collard (

roverson's picture

Truly that when you incorporate quality educational game into something that would make kids fun, it will surely have better result. Now, every brain games such as puzzle and other physics games are not only for entertaining kids but also letting them learn from its educational aspects. Just like the game list at my kids always enjoy the games and they learn good lessons from it.

SUZETTE's picture

Games have always made a difference in a child's world. I try to incorporate games when ever I can into our curriculum. In this day of computer generation and hand help devices, games are a great way to relate to students. Great Resources to integrate into the classroom.

Pramod Ponnaluri's picture
Pramod Ponnaluri
Founder + Game Designer, Kitki

Games are certainly a great way to engage students in an active learning process. We have seen the impact while using game mechanics during our experiential learning workshops. At Kitki, we have succesfully integrated educational concepts from maths, science and history into board games. Take a look at

LizWilliams's picture
Organising events and workshops to help make learning fun.

Although this feature is now four years old the resources mentioned are still highly relevant to today's teaching needs.

Pleased to see that on the Institute of Play website there are many more resources around game-based learning for both educators and parents.

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