Monday, December 11, 2017

Bellum Civile: Gaming Caesar's Civil War

I feel bad that I've been so silent lately. I have many, many ideas for blog posts, and I just haven't had time to put pixelated letter to white screen. There are a lot of reasons for this, and that could be its own blog post (it kind of is here). Suffice it to say, I have tried to rethink what a Latin IV class could be, and it's been exhilarating and exhausting and I haven't had too much extra energy to feed into anything else.

But now I'm at a good breathing point and hope to dive straight back into blog posts. This post is to share with you my presentation from ACTFL on running a role-play game with my Latin III students.

I have always wanted to do something role-play for my Latin classes, for over a decade at least, if not for my entire teaching career (on year 15!), because it is such an immersive opportunity with language, and because I'm a gaming geek and love role-play games; my husband was my first Dungeon Master in Dungeons and Dragons (I played a rogue half-dragon named Seline) when I was seventeen. Gaming has been a huge part of my life since then, and seeking a way to marry our different passions is a natural drive for any geek and teacher.

Last year, I finally hit on the perfect game style (Fiasco-esque) to use in conjunction with tasks, something I had just started experimenting with (you can see my first experiment here, and Miriam and I recorded a book study on tasks here), and, to make it easier both for students to plan their actions, speeches, and dialogues for the game and for me to keep a record of each session's events, I realized Twitter was a perfect medium for gameplay.

Thus was born Bellum Civile, a dive into Caesar's civil war, with seven major(ish) historical figures from the civil war--each controlled by groups of four students--battling for Rome's soul.

Below you will find links to the game and its various accouterments. I have included my vocabulary-building materials, some of the materials I used to build student knowledge before we started, and everything else you might need while running the game. I did my best to create an easy-to-use teacher's guide and to make the game self-running in large part. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Teacher's Guide: Bellum Civile
Folder of Materials (most linked by Teacher's Guide as well)
ACTFL Presentation

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