There is little I love more than a versatile game. When you can use the same game for a variety of skills, you run into fewer problems caused by a lack of understanding. Teach it once and use it countless ways.
See it in action!
It started as a way to enhance my lesson on soccer dribbling but grew into more because I wanted my youngest students to enjoy the game too. I had to create a progression of learning the game to maximize understanding.
So let's go through the progression:
The setup is pretty simple. Set four objects out on the floor: something red, green, yellow and blue. In the gym, I'd use colored dots or floor tape. Virtually, I've been having them grab items/toys/crayons... anything of those colors they can put on the floor.
This is as easy as the game gets. The best way to learn is by watching the Training video below.
The crew mates pop up and your job is to try to remember where they are. After they disappear, you have a task to do. This is an exercise. After the task, the Imposter alert sounds off letting you know which crew mate is an Imposter. Then you need to move to a safe spot to avoid the Imposter.
Remember the Crew Mates • Complete the task • Avoid the Imposter
Now if you want to make it more challenging and engaging for older students, you can have them vote off the Imposter instead of avoiding it. I've had my students hold up their colored object as their way of voting for that spot. This was awesome with 4th and 5th grades. Kids started turning their cameras on to vote and they got really into it. I've played where the class votes as a whole or where each individual makes their own choice and gets to show off their memory.
Play it here.
Once my students were familiar with how to play the game, I upped the challenge. Now it becomes tougher to remember where each Crew Mate was because their task is to go tap their colored spaces in a specific order. Check out the Training Video below.
There are some fun ways to do this too. In my virtual classes, I had them spread their items out more halfway through the game to increase the challenge. In the event I can make it work in my gym, I have the idea of spreading colored dots throughout the space and students move a greater distance.
Dribbling and Versatility
Now we have the game down and I can use it for a variety of skills. Like I said, the initial idea was for soccer dribbling. So now their task is to dribble to each color, trap the ball on the spot, then move to the next.
You could also use the game for basketball dribbling, hockey dribbling, and more that I haven't thought of yet. If you come up with other ways to use the game, drop a comment below. I'd love to hear your ideas.
Because of the versatility, I made several versions of the game. There is the 5 second Agility game (above) and the 20 second Agility game (below), designed for use with a variety of skills, such as dribbling.
As an added bonus for members of the PLAY: Interactive Arcade., I made a 10 second version you'll see there. Another perk of membership is that I created 3 games of each duration. Kids are smart and they'll start to remember the order of the Imposters. So to keep them on their toes, you can play different versions each time.
The Story Behind the Game
I love hearing how teachers come up with their games. Coach Gelardi made an awesome "Catch a Heart" Valentines activity and his story is great. His daughter came home from school with a bunch of paper hearts. He took one and put it on her head. Then he put one on his head, to make her laugh. It fell off and he instinctively reached out to catch it. It just clicked that it's something people would enjoy doing, and gain some skill while they're at it.
So for all interested parties, here's how the game came about.
I set out to teach soccer dribbling... virtually... and make it engaging for all my students.
I also said I'd never make an Among Us game. I love reaching the kids where they are and with their interests, but to invest the time and energy into something they may not be interested in next year didn't seem worth it.
Then I had this idea. I was playing The Graveyard Twist with my family at home and I thought the setup was perfect. Set up four dots and dribble to different combinations of the dots. But the question remained of how to make it interesting. The original idea was "Snake Soccer" where 3 snakes would pop out and you'd need to move to the empty spot. But it just never felt right. Especially for soccer dribbling. It's incredibly challenging to dribble a soccer ball while you're looking at a screen. So I sat on it for a while.
I had this idea stuck in my head as I was chatting with my 4th and 5th graders (one of my favorite parts of teaching virtually has been the flexibility to offer time after class to just talk about whatever the kids are interested in. It's something I hope I can find a way to offer whenever we go back in-person). They were going on about Among Us and it clicked. They should dribble a code - almost like Unlock My Phone - this would be their task. But instead of returning to the same spot, they should find a dot that wasn't poisoned - that is to say, a dot that was safe. I wanted to challenge their brains and memory in a similar way to how I did with The River and the Bank. And so the game was born.
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