*Three years ago, I was given the title “Adolescent Learning Based Games” for publication on Livestrong. The article was originally published on February 6, 2013. It is no longer published on Livestrong or anywhere else so I am free to publish it here.
Young children learn through play. Since teenagers and adults also learn through play, games make ideal teaching tools for all ages. Adolescent learning-based games provide students with engaging ways to absorb subject content and retain information. Students learn through online, classroom and outdoor games. Teachers and parents can use games to teach almost any subject matter, including money and teamwork, along with traditional subjects such as math and geology.
Online Games to Teach Job-Related Skills
Learn 4 Good (learn4good.com) offers adolescents a variety of online learning games that teach job-related skills, such as Arm Surgery geared toward teens who might like to become doctors or nurses. Students can choose from 40 game categories that teach money management and budgeting, farming, game editing and real estate. One game even allows students to build and run their own resort island.
Younger adolescents who are closer to middle school ages will benefit from the online world of Club Penguin (clubpenguin.com). In the online virtual world of Club Penguin, teens can customize their own penguins, adopt pets and learn about pet care. Adolescents exercise creativity while learning the importance of teamwork and earning money to buy the things they want.
GPS Treasure Hunt Game
You can use a GPS unit to teach geology, environmental studies and teamwork. Place students into groups and give each group a digital camera, a GPS unit and a sheet of paper with a list of landmarks or plants. Adapt the list to the subject you wish to teach. Instruct the adolescents to use the GPS unit to find the items on the list, identify the items and take a photo of each item located. Depending on the type of GPS used, give specific bearings for locating each item or an address. The first group to accurately identify each item and return with a photo for proof wins the game.
Teach math principles with a simple deck of playing cards. Adolescents can improve their multiplication skills with a card game of War. Students can play individually or in small teams. Place a deck of cards in front of each adolescent or team. Upon the signal, each student or team turns over two cards and then multiplies the numbers. The first student or team to provide the correct answer wins. Repeat as often as needed to master multiplication skills.
Practical Money Skills (practicalmoneyskills.com) offers games to teach students about finances. Adolescents can choose between sports-related financial games, a puzzle and a road trip game. Adolescents learn about retirement savings while playing Countdown to Retirement.
Adolescents learn about using debit and credit cards when they play an online game called Celebrity Calamity on the Financial Entertainment website (financialentertainment.org). Students must manage a budget for a celebrity who has no idea how to manage one for himself. Teens have to select jobs, make payments on credit purchases and remember to manage finance charges.
Language Arts Games
One Stop English (onestopenglish.com) provides teenagers with games that teach language arts skills, helping teens to improve their grammar, sentence structure, listening and concentrations skills.
Education Place (eduplace.com) offers several games which help students improve language arts related skills such as learning parts of speech, proofreading and spelling. Adolescents can also choose from a few additional games which will help them improve math and geography skills.