Having trouble engaging students in your English or Social Studies classroom? Want to try something new? I recommend checking out the the Institute of Play’s Socratic Smackdown. They have a resource guide for teachers complete with activity materials, Common Core State Standards alignment and a sample lesson. The Socratic Smackdown’s goal is to teach students how to discuss texts and use textual evidence to support their claims. There are four to six students per team and each round one student from each team will participate in the Socratic Smackdown ring. The remaining students reflect on the conversation and take notes on the Coach Card. After a six minute round, the students rotate into the Socratic Smackdown ring.

The Institute of Play was founded on the premise that “games are powerful learning tools… [and] engage student students in exciting and empowering ways.” Since 2009, the Institute of Play has been designing classroom games. There are currently 80 games available to teachers for free. All of the games have been tested in one or both of the Institute’s Quest schools (Quest to Learn in NYC and CICS ChicagoQuest).


2 Responses

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    • Shane Donahue

      Thank you for your feedback! Please include in the comments here or email me with any thoughts you have about the site and resources you have come across (szdonahue@gmail.com).


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