I didn’t have the chance to blog last night about our progress, but we made some good developments. One thing we decided is that our plane crash on our crazy island will correlate with the plane crash in the Hudson River from back in January. We had some discussion about connecting it to the 9/11 attacks but that brings with it so many negative emotions and the Hudson River crash is really associated with positive feelings.
I also think we have found a good connection with Manhattan Island and the problems that occur there. One student found a really good graphic (below) that has helped us identify the major issues that Manhattan faces.
(You can see the graphic in context here.)
So, students in second block decided on four issues from Manhattan to make a connection to our crazy island and to ratios and proportions. The four Manhattan issues are:
1. Homeless/housing issues – When our characters crash on the island they are certainly homeless! The students are thinking about how they can make a connection to ratios and proportions. Thoughts are with ideas such as the ratio of materials needed to construct housing or the ratio of shelters per person, etc. I was really proud of the way that two of the students were working together yesterday. They each brainstormed ideas. Then they compared and contrasted their ideas using a Venn Diagram and made some decisions about what to keep and what to throw out. Here is a photo of them with some of their work (no faces for privacy reasons):
2. Health Issues/Swine Flu – This is probably the one that has been developed the most so far. One of our characters, likely Kyle the pilot, will become ill. The group is researching homeopathic remedies for the flu, which includes vinegar and garlic. They are thinking there will be a ratio of ingredients and then that the players will have to calculate the proportion of ingredients that Kyle will need for a certain number of days.
3. Rats/Rodents – The students are researching ways to naturally rid themselves of rats. They are looking into traps and natural predators.
4. Transportation – This one is still a puzzle to me but I know they will come up with something! I think they are looking at how to get around the island, but I’m not sure how it will all take shape.
Today we made some exciting breakthroughs on our alternate reality game! I was becoming worried about where “reality” would actually work its way back into our story. Today I got my answer!
In second block, we started talking about the plot and all the students started playing ideas off each other. They came up with one of characters, Brooke, having a real map. It started as a map of a mall since she loves to shop, but moved to a map of New York since that is where she is from. This real map would mirror the island map and could be used to guide the characters into “balancing” the island so they can get off. We searched for maps of New York in second block and then also searched for real problems in New York that could mirror some of the problems that we had come up with for the island during our plot development work.
In third block we were continuing the work of second block. We decided that since Manhattan is an island that it might be good to have Manhattan Island mirror our “Lost” island. There is a nice symmetry to that, isn’t there?!? They also did some searching for problems on Manhattan Island that could mirror our problems on the island. We put our connection ideas on a new panel of our storyboard (pictured above). I’m thinking we could link to those real news stories and real maps in order to keep the reality part of the alternate reality game. Exciting developments!