“Baldna” Game

Thanks to Mr.Sherif, last Monday we got the chance to know more about “Baladna” game. He brought it to class so we can learn more about the mechanics and dynamics of the game. It was a rewarding and inspiring experience that was extended into my classes afterwards, so I decided to write a blog post about it.

When I opened the game kit, my first impression was that the quality was very good ( a value that we sometimes miss in our country). Then came the organization of the game… The vivid attractive colors used on the map and the cards in addition to how they were organized was well-thought-of. It is age-relevant for kids and also interesting for adults to explore. The language used in the cards and the rules paper is simple and even slang!! Actually, what I like the most about the language used is that it is in Arabic which is so considerate of the culture and language that kids need to learn about. There were many cards … I wonder how many times a kid should play it to go through all of them!

After taking some time to explore the game, I was fond of the variety of activities that were designed for kids to enjoy while learning about the culture of different regions in Egypt. It was just fun reading it … Imagine kids playing with them; I can almost hear their voices laughing. I also liked how the designed learning environment is personalized so students feel that they are participating in the game and relating the information to their personal lives. Moreover, the action triggers act as catalysts to keep kids playing the game. Above all, the game was designed to promote creative thinking, imagination, problem solving and other skills that kids need to practice and teachers (or adults playing the game with the kids) need to develop for teaching the kids. I believe it is a good material that could be used by teachers to create engaging learning environment for their students.

This brought my attention back to the importance of acting, playing, drawing, and even using comedy in teaching. Something that I used to implement in my teaching before but lost it on the way because of the work stress. So, I decided to bring it back to my sessions. This week was a perfect time for doing that as it is a revision week. So in class, I started to “storify” the lessons and chose the characters of the story from my students. I also used the board to draw them as stickmen in a funny way which made them eager to be chosen as characters of the story. It brought fun to class, students were so interested in listening to the stories and even participating in some of its events. Some students even recalled the details of the story the following day because they/ their friends were part of it. The best part was that after I finished my stories, students jumped to the board to share their stories about other social studies lessons with their friends on the board using the same technique. They were learning while having fun!!

Thanks Ms.Maha Bali for sharing the game with us.You inspired me to add new fun elements in my teaching.

Thank you Mr.Sherif Osman for bringing life and hope back into our lives. You showed us vividly what an inspiring teacher is. Most of the times, you guided us by just pointing out the way with a question, a statement, a story, an experience, or even a feedback … yet, it was enough challenge for us to explore it. We are lucky to have you as our instructor.

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