Creating Computer Games

Age Range: 7 - 11
By: Jenny Habgood

All lesson resources for running this activity are available from http://www.gamelearning.net/clubs/resources/resources.htm.

We have been running this activity as a weekly after school computer club, and it can usually be completed in a term. The software we use is called Stagecast Creator, which is a picture based programming language designed for children. Stagecast can be bought using e-learning credits from RM.

We begin the club by teaching the children the basics of Stagecast Creator, using the 5 tutorial lessons, which can be downloaded from the link above. In the sixth lesson, the children are given the chance to play a range of games on Stagecast, and then use the design sheets to design their own games. After that they work independently for the next 6 lessons to complete their games.

The first time we ran the clubs they were run as part of my husband’s research project with the University of Nottingham. The completed games from those clubs can be played at http://www.reignhead.sheffield.sch.uk/games/games.htm. However, the clubs were so oversubscribed the first time around that I ran it again last term on my own, and we hope to add these games to the website soon. We were very impressed with the quality of the games produced in all the clubs and the children loved making them. Stagecast is picture based, so it does not rely on the children’s literacy skills.

For some children that struggle at school, this provides a rare opportunity for them to excel at something and can really raise their self-confidence. A lot of time and effort has gone into creating the resources for the club, so it would be a shame not to share them with other schools.

We hope to update and refine the resources as time goes on so please send us your comments through my husband’s web site (www.gamelearning.net).

Jenny Habgood (Y3 teacher)

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