Articles and Multimedia Links
Audrey Lamb, Kentucky Teacher, 1/13/23. The KyEdRPG website is highlighted!
"How Youth Can Build Social and Emotional Skills in Tabletop Role-Playing Games" by Caroline Pitt, Katharine Chen, Jennifer Rubin, Dominic Gibson, and Samantha Bindman, foundry10, March 2023. "This white paper highlights findings from a collaborative study on the potential benefits of tabletop role-playing games as tools for supporting youth SEL skill development."
"Follow up - Librarians report: Dungeons & Dragons in the Library" by Jake Ciarapica, American Library Association: Games and Gaming Round Table, 2/6/23. Great advice on how to handle the challenges of running role-playing game sessions on an ongoing basis when player participation can be inconsistent and many are seeking a "taste" without being well versed in the rules.
International Journal of Role-Playing. IJRP is an online scholastic journal that has been publishing annual issues going back to 2008. While the scope and topics of its peer-reviewed articles often reach beyond education, you'll find some examples focused on K-12.
"How Therapists are Using Tabletop Games to Help People" by Kam Burns, Wired, 10/22/22. We know the importance of SEL for our students. This article details the healing power of role-playing games.
Culliope's Cauldron. Maryanne Cullinan is an educator who not only utilizes RPGs, but is doing research on RPGs in schools as part of her PhD work. She was featured in the International Literacy Association's webinar on D & D helping with student writing (10/11/22), linked below.
Reacting Consortium. A higher ed program begun at Barnard College (New York) in 2012, where a multitude of RPG various modules ("Reacting to the Past") have been created around moments in history. Students are given roles, learn their parts, and do critical readings in preparation to play the multi-day modules in class. An overview video and an example RPG module are linked below; you may also want to read the blog entry "Introducing Reacting to the High School Classroom" by Harry Shontz (10/6/22).
Cage Master Craft. A YouTube Channel by a Jefferson County Public School bus driver, mainly focused on the crafting of D & D miniatures and terrain.
"D & D After School" by Jane Hoskyn, Dragon+, February 2021. Discusses Stefan McNinch's after school D & D club and how it improved the academic and SEL achievements of his students, as well as links to D & D family and community resources.
Bill Allan on Twitter and on YouTube. Allan is a high school teacher that produces a popular YouTube series with several seasons of "D & D with High School Students."
"When the Teacher is the Dungeon Master: why you should role the dice on bringing Dungeons and Dragons into the classroom" by Emily Gaudette, The Elective (College Board online magazine), 2/7/20.
"Exploring the Use of Role-Playing Games in Education" by Richard Heinz Patrick Prager, The MT Review, 12/30/19. Abstract and full PDF of article available.
'How Schools Spark Excitement for Learning with Role Playing and Games" by Paul Darvasi, KQED, 2/20/19.
"Dungeons and Dragons storms education" by Matt Zalaznick, District Administration, 11/28/18.
"Creating an educational RPG adventure for your classroom" by Adam Watson, Classcraft blog, 1/16/17.
"Learning by Playing: Larp as a Teaching Method" by Muriel Balzer, Nordic Larp, 2015. Some Scandinavian schools have been using elements of RPGs in their classrooms for years, expanding them into entire schools built around "edularps" (educational live action role playing). This article explains the pedagogical grounding behind such RPG-themed schools. Also see the video link below!
In this October 11, 2022 webinar facilitated by the International Literacy Association, the participants discuss "Using Dungeons & Dragons to Scaffold Writing Instruction" (58:12).
"Reacting to the Past" is a series of role playing games focused around moments in history, first created and ran at Barnard College in New York. Students are given roles, learn their parts, and do critical readings in preparation to play the multi-day modules in class. In this video, instructors explain the power of these RPGs and college students are shown playing them. (5:23)
If you're asking yourself "Why You Should Start a D&D After School Club," watch this September 2022 video produced by Dungeons & Dragons (and read Justin Gadd's story!). (2:54)
In this August 18, 2022 webinar facilitated by the International Literacy Association, the participants discuss "Leveling Up Reluctant Readers With Dungeons & Dragons" (59:31). Elementary teacher Emilie Rayner uses D & D to increase reading with her young students, and Kade C. Wells's dramatic NWEA MAP scores are evidence of success for his choice of leading an "adventure-based style" classroom.
In this July 16, 2022 webinar facilitated by the International Literacy Association, the participants discuss "Building Emotional Literacy Through Dungeons & Dragons" (59:47).
In this TEDx Talk from May 21, 2016, prize-winning poet Ethan Gilsdorf explains "Why Dungeons & Dragons is Good for You (In Real Life)" (22:35).
Historical Character Sheets (Mary Lowe, Good Shepherd Catholic School, Frankfort, KY). As part of a middle school Age of Exploration unit, students are to fully complete a detailed D & D character sheet on a famous explorer and justify their choices. (This idea could be easily applied to other contexts, such as analyzing literary characters.) Start with the Overview doc.
Westward Expansion, d20 Style (Patrick La Mar, Oldham County Public Schools). How a social studies lesson became much more engaging by integrating a role playing game.
Running a D & D Extracurricular Club (Justin Gadd, Shelby County Public Schools). Discusses how D & D clubs improve the SEL and academic life of students, as well as tips on how to start and sustain such clubs.
Trading Card Mythological Gods Project (Adam Watson). A two day lesson plan originally created for a high school Myths and Legends class. The folder contains four documents; start with the Overview.
Writing Resources (Building Heroez). Kade Wells is a middle school ELA teacher in South Dakota who is a strong proponent of playing D & D in class. HIs writing lesson ideas inspired by D & D include "Head to Toe [Character] Description using Sentence Variety," "Character Backstory," and "Heroic Biopoem."
American Library Association "Games and Gaming Roundtable." The ALA has a page on their website dedicated to various ways that librarians can incorporate games into learning spaces. TTRPGs frequently are mentioned in the articles.
Kentucky, 1861: Loyalty, State, and Nation. A role playing game module that is from the Reacting Consortium,; this particular one was picked from Reacting's extensive list of games for its obvious local connection. While these Reacting games were originally created for college students to play, they certainly can be a starting point to demonstrate how such RPGs could be adapted for younger students to make history or literature come alive. (Note: the gamebook for the module needs purchasing and a paid membership to the Reacting Consortium is required to access the rest of the gaming materials.)
Dungeons & Dragons "Build an Adventure." Official lesson plans for grades 4-6 and 6-8 (language arts and mathematics), including introductory materials such as game and character rules. Created by Young Minds Inspired in partnership with Wizards of the Coast.
"System Reference Document 5.1." A 400+ page PDF released by Wizards of the Coast under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, this is the 5E compatible set of rules on how to create characters, combat, spells, magic items, monsters and more.
Online dice rolling sites:
D & D Beyond (official; besides digital dice, also has D&D character creation and other tools; requires a free account)
D & D Dice Roller (unofficial)
Classroomscreen (virtual d6/d12/d20 dice, but loads of other features too!)