Science games not only aid the learning process by engaging students and peeking their interests, but they are also designed in a way that coincides well with Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s Taxonomy asserts that learning occurs in six stages – knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The main goal of the learning process is to enable children to become critical thinkers.
At the knowledge level, children recall information. When children comprehend, they restate concepts in their own words. They rely on prior knowledge to problem-solve at the application level. During the analysis stage, children capably compare and contrast materials. Combining knowledge to make inferences occurs in the synthesis stage. The final stage, evaluation, is when children make and support decisions.
Here is an example of how one science game supports the learning process via Bloom’s Taxonomy model.
MISSION NUTRITION found at http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/closet/.
#1: Knowledge Stage
Open the fridge and find the drink that contains the most added sugar. The choices are soda, orange juice, water and milk. Children with prior knowledge about nutrition will recall that soda has the most sugar. If children select a beverage other than soda, the game explains why their answer is incorrect and provides another chance.
#2: Comprehension and Application Stages
Find the snack that gives you carbohydrates and some protein an important part of a kid’s diet. The choices are pretzels, potato chips, cookies and peanut butter with crackers. Children may not be familiar with the words carbohydrates and protein, but using prior knowledge about nutrition may interpret that all the foods listed are junk foods except for the peanut butter and crackers. Children will recognize that junk food is not an important part of a kid’s diet, and therefore, problem-solve that peanut butter on crackers is the best choice.
#3: Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation Stages
Click the bowl below and test your knowledge on Fun Fruit Facts! Which fruit has the most Vitamin C? The choices are oranges, apples, grapes and bananas. After oranges are selected a follow up question appears. What other foods have lots of Vitamin C? The choices are (a) soda, cookies, candy (b) maple syrup, ketchup, mustard and (c) grapefruit, strawberries and lemons. Children will use knowledge about Vitamin C or specifically oranges and decide that (c) makes the most sense.
Incorporating science games into the curriculum also helps teachers effectively meet the needs of more students in less time. Science games provide opportunities for modification and enrichment. Students with weak reading skills and English language learners will benefit from the sound and pictures often accompanying text in science games. Teachers can use science games to appeal to children’s natural aptitudes and increase curiosity.
Curious students are active learners. Active learners are a necessary component of the learning process. Select science games that complement Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences including linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal.
Students with strong language abilities may grasp science concepts more readily via a language game. Students with an aptitude for music may grasp science concepts more readily via a sing-a-long game and so on. Many science games integrate more than one of the multiple intelligences, thereby further increasing the likelihood that children will learn by playing.
Science games are beneficial additions to lesson plans because they support students and teachers in the learning process. Technology plays an important role in society today and should be integrated across disciplines whenever the opportunity arises. Get children’s attention, keep their attention and they will learn. They will learn how to learn forever.