Teaching Tech Writing in High School – An Interesting Approach

Game of LudoThe other day, my 16-year old came home from school and told me about a fun and interesting way his English teacher is teaching his class about technical writing. His teacher, Mr. Garrett,  is a big fan of board games. In fact, Mr. Garrett has a board game club that meets after school one day per week. That, alone, is enough to make me smile.

Mr. Garrett decided to use board games as an introduction to writing procedures. And this is what he did:

The students were divided into groups. Each group was given a board game to learn. At the next class, the students had to teach other students how to play the board game. Finally, at the class after that, the students had to write instructions on how to play the board game. They were graded on how well their procedures could be followed, how accurately the procedures were written, and so on.

Writing instructions for how to play a game that you just learned can be quite a challenge. I didn’t see the exact assignment, but I would imagine that the students needed to focus on:

  • Accuracy
  • Readability / Clarity
  • Completeness
  • Order
  • Caveats

and more.

I really love this imaginative way to teach the topic. Have you heard of other approaches that are fun and engaging?

 

Val Swisher

Val Swisher is the CEO of Content Rules. She is a well-known expert in global content strategy, content development, and terminology management. Using her 20 years of experience, Val helps companies solve complex content problems by analyzing their content and how it is created.

When not blogging, Val can be found sitting behind her sewing machine working on her latest quilt. She also makes a mean hummus.
Discuss
Blog · Content Development · January 14, 2014
 

 

 
  • Marcia Riefer Johnston

    (I just posted this, but it didn’t seem to take. Resending…) Brilliant! Way to go, Mr. Garrett.

    You ask for other fun, engaging approaches. Here’s one. Grammar Girl has an award-winning iPad game called “Grammar Pop”: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/grammar-pop-a-new-ipad-word-game

    • http://www.contentrules.com Val Swisher

      Oh yes, Mignon’s new game is also great!

      • Marcia Riefer Johnston

        Let’s play a round at the Intelligent Content Conference. Your iPad or mine?

        • http://www.contentrules.com Val Swisher

          You’ll slaughter me, for sure!!! But what the heck. :-)

  • Joanna Bettelheim

    I remember something similar in fourth grade, except we were tasked with writing instructions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The next day, we switched instructions and, having been supplied with peanut butter, jelly, bread, etc. tried to make a sandwich by doing only as instructed. Not everyone ended up with what would generally be considered an actual PB&J…

    • http://www.contentrules.com Val Swisher

      Another interesting idea!

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