ISY Learning Story

Creating Arcade Games and supporting the ISY vision

How can children create an arcade game in art and support the mission, vision and learning goals we have for our students at ISY? Ms. Samia’s 6th grade art class has demonstrated just that.

The main focus for the project was on one of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) ISY supports, Responsible Production and Consumption. However, many other learning goals were focused on during this project such as the ISY Learner Attributes of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity, as well as the ISY Interdisciplinary Concepts of function (exploring how things work) and perspective (exploring different points of view).

The project was inspired by Caine’s Arcade, a boy who created an entire arcade out of recycled boxes. Here’s a link to a YouTube video about Caine’s Arcade. The students were fascinated by Caine’s creation. Building off of the students’ interests, the 6th grade students worked in groups of twos and threes to build their own working arcade game. They were first challenged by having to make a 3D sculpture using thin cardboard and no adhesives. After they met this challenge, students worked on their building skills using clay intermittently with the building of their arcade game. They created pinch pots with the goal of the pots having an even thickness and height, smooth surface, and accurate sizing to put two pots together to create an animal of their choice. Ms. Samia demonstrated sculpting techniques and how to use clay tools to guide the students through this process. The clay activity required the students to practice clay build skills, work accurately and focus.

These skills transferred over to creating their arcade. However, much more than building skills were learned and practiced. Students had to collaborate and communicate. They had to think critically and creatively to decide on jobs within their group, agree on what game they’ll build, how to build it, the rules, the name of the game, and agree on how challenging their game should be. Trying out their arcade game, as well as their classmates’ arcade games, helped the groups discover what worked and what needed changing.

Once the arcade games were completed, the ninth grade art students gave them a try. They gave them a two thumbs up! Following the ninth grade trial run, the 6th grade students invited the ISY administrative team to come and have a try. They also gave the games a double thumbs up!

Through observation, rubrics and final products Ms. Samia was able to assess the learning of the students. Who knew that the goal of creating a working arcade game in art with recycled materials with a group of friends could involve so much learning for our students at ISY.