Last week during the #games4ed Twitter chat participants were discussing the use of dice in the classroom for learning activities. The creative ideas were flowing throughout the chat. When the dry erase dice were brought up during the chat, I thought of turning them into hieroglyphic dice for a history class to create stories of ancient Egypt and other ancient civilizations. But, there are so many more ways to utilize dice in the classroom as shared throughout the conversation.
In the ELA classroom I use dice in many different ways from Roll the Dice or Think Dot activities to having students roll dice and complete a writing prompt based on the number rolled. One might have students roll dice to determine the number of words to be written in a summary. Dice are also effective for Cubing, an instructional strategy that asks students to consider a concept from a variety of different perspectives. On the cube or dice are different activities on each side. A student rolls the cube and does the activity that comes up. You can differentiate dice/cubes according to readiness, learning profile, or interest.
My students are currently writing investigative journalism feature articles and it dawned on me to create a Roll the Dice Revision Activity. Working independently or in small groups, each student is given a revision activity sheet and a die. Each student rolls the die and completes the revision activity that corresponds to the dots thrown on the die (that is, if a student rolls a “three,” she then completes the revision activity with three dots on it.)
In addition to building my own dice activities, there are story cubes and metaphor dice that one can purchase online. Rory’s Story Cubes is a pocket-sized creative story generator with pictures on the dice for users to create their own stories based on the images rolled. Metaphor Dice, conceived by award-winning poet and educator Taylor Mali, make the formation of metaphors as easy as rolling a handful of dice. These color coded dice require a user to combine one concept (RED), one object (BLUE), and adjective (WHITE), to build a metaphor.
The possibilities of using dice and building dice games across content area classrooms and grade levels in infinite. Share your ideas in the comments.