Pokémon Go is the most recent game that is grabbing people’s attention all over the world. From little ones to the oldest men in the park, everyone is holding their smartphones while looking for species of Pokémon.
What is Pokémon and why should you bring it to your classroom?
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that allows you to find and catch more than hundred species of Pokemon while exploring the surroundings. These species are on your smartphone’s map and can be collected, trained, evolved and used in battles.
Research highlights that is fundamental for children’s holistic development that their learning experiences are based on their interests.
Since they are likely to be chasing Pokémon with their siblings or even parents at home, why not use this game as a starting point for learning in many different subjects?
It can actually be a fantastic opportunity for children to practice social and emotional skills, exploring senses and learn from others. Furthermore, for practitioners, this game can also be a way of reinforcing close relationships with children’s families.
How to bring Pokémon Go into your preschool?
- Start by asking children what are their experiences around these subject and invite them to a Pokémon Go session
- Divide your group in small groups
- Go wild and start catching little Pokémon hidden in parks, cafes, supermarkets, post office, etc.
This activity not only allows children to interact with their surroundings but also promotes the development of their notion of space.
After coming back to your room we would suggest you to encourage children to participate in the follow activities:
Language & Communication:
- Using a known nursery rhyme, create a new lyrics including the word Pokémon (eg: Dance, Dance, Pokémon, Dance…)
- Imagine, write and illustrate a fiction story based on an adventure that one of the Pokémon has
- The target is a circle when trying to catch a Pokémon. Use this as the starting point to work on shapes
- Create individual Pokémon using a wide variety of resources (paper with different colours and textures, fabric, old newspapers/magazines, painting resources, scissors, glue, etc.).
Exploring & Thinking:
- Draw a map that represent the places you all have been while on your Pokémon Go session in the neighborhood
- Create a Pokémon Go map for your playschool and invite parents to join the game
- Use the game to discuss position and direction, e.g. in which direction is the nearest Poke Stop?
- Make Pokeballs and suncatchers using old CDs.
- Pokémon Hunting game with physical obstacles to overcome and hide handcrafted species of Pokémon somewhere in the classroom/playground
- Catch game with Pokeballs (catching each other throwing soft balls)
- Build a 3D Pokémon (using recycling resources) as big group’s mascot.
Identity & Belonging:
- Different locations on the map are called Pokestops. Create a poster of those Pokestops with photos and children’s pictures of that places. Invite children to describe those places and express their thoughts and experiences about that places;
- Encourage children to identify other important places in your local area that could be a Pokestop and let them explain their reasons.
As a childcare professional, linking activities to your curriculum (Aistear, EYFS, …) is one of the biggest challenges and time consuming things to do in our daily routines. ChildDiary is already helping practitioners to streamline this process by simply selecting what learning goals to use.