Grade 6 Students Invent Live-Action Systems Games

A group of Grade 6 SDG Guardians and Service Leaders have become inventors! During Distance Learning, they came together to play-test and prepare a virtual version of live-action systems thinking games to share with other students so they can learn about systems around us. The “Triangles Game” is a fun and interactive game that students played earlier in the year. They used the game to visualize complex systems and learn how to look for things such as delays, important causal relationships, and places to intervene within a system. 

These students also worked on a game that was totally new to them called “Living Loops”. In a 30-minute session, they play-tested the game and modified the “mechanics” for playing – then they came up with possible topics to use for playing the game for different age groups including sharing toys, stress, and economics! 

Middle School Science Teacher and SDG Guardian, Kate Dore, expressed her pride for the students. She said, “These kids are absolute champs! This is some pretty sophisticated systems thinking and analysis. It’s very cool that they are using their expertise and knowledge to develop resources for other youth!” 

Their work has been shared with UNIS Hanoi teachers, and they have already received positive responses back. In one of the messages back to students, Grade 5 Teacher, Nathan Smith, applauded their keen thinking skills: “I’ve played the triangle game, so I get how cool it is that you created a virtual way to explore the concept. Your exploration seems like the kind of critical thinking and programming that might allow us to someday create a cure for COVID19. Great work! The stuff of legends.” 

How to play

The Virtual Triangle Game

When playing this as a live-action game, everyone stands in a circle, chooses two people secretly, then when the game starts they try to make an equilateral triangle with themselves and the two people they chose. This creates a dynamic living system that is always moving, and that can be used to understand all types of natural systems from food webs to stress and student life. For the virtual game, we used a digital platform called JAMBOARD so we could visualize movement and relationships within a system both from within the system and from an “overview” perspective. 

The Living Loops Game

This is a fun game for understanding feedback loops within systems. By playing this game, students can see how information flows through a system and how relationships between individual parts of the system influence its sustainability.

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