1. Use Google Draw to Create Pokemon Go Parodies, Memes, etc
Let’s be honest - one of the best parts of a phenomenon are the memes, spin-offs, parodies, and pop culture created from the topic, and Pokemon Go is no different. Just ask Pokemon Gogh, various Pokemon memes, or even Walter White if you have any doubts.
So how do we help students create Pokemon Go-inspired creative projects? I mocked up a quick Google Draw Pokemon Go Template to help students create faux sequences, but the sky is the limit for designing similar situations. This Google Draw Template allows for more customization, including the creation of a pokemon, filling out their stats sheet, and choosing their type. Students could add characters from a novel, history, or animals/plants from real life into the game and how their story fits into the gameplay. What if there was a rift in history, and players had to capture wild presidents scattered all over the globe? Honest Abe would definitely need a Razz berry and Master Ball to be caught, right?
2. Use ARIS or Aurasma to Design Small Scale Pokemon Go-like Games or Scavenger Hunts
What if you could create an educational version of Pokemon Go for your students? Too good to be true, right? With a bit of elbow grease and the right app, the concept is far from fiction. ARIS, a platform that allows you to create choice-based adventures tied to geographic locations, could help you turn a school building into a living, breathing Pokemon Go simulator around the subject of your choice.
If you wanted creatures to pop up out of everyday objects, take my colleague Ben Brazeau’s advice (@braz74 if you want to follow him) and use Aurasma to create augmented reality creatures popping up around your room, school, or neighborhood to teach concepts.
Other apps create the concept of a geocached “scavenger hunt,” such as Goose Chase. Teams can compete to find various locations, complete certain tasks, or accept various challenges that simulate the gameplay designs of Pokemon Go.
3. Create Your Own Pokemon Using Knowledge of Science, LA Writing, etc in Google Slides
Want to go beyond simple images and memes regarding Pokemon Go? Have your students create their own Pokemon, utilizing the understanding of families, phylums, and much more in Science class. Ask them to brush up on their writing with a description of the pokemon to go into their pokedex, and use their understanding of history to explain the best landmarks to find this creature in town. The Google Slides template I made helps students easily add their pokemon, write about its attributes, and give a summary about its backstory and features. What kind of attacks would Jane Eyre have? Would your jackalope pokemon be grass type? Normal? All considerations to make when creating your unique pokemon or basing it off a character.
4. Use Google Maps to Track Species & “Characters” (a la Pokemon Go)
Google My Maps allows users to overlay writing, images, and video on top of existing Google Maps, which connects perfectly with the concept of Pokemon Go. Users in various cities have already capitalized on Google My Maps as a way to document where various pokemon can be found - check out this crowdsourced example from Madison, WI. This method could also be used in the classroom - have students take their newly-created pokemon from the Google Slides activity above and put an icon on the world map of where it might live. Students could hypothesize where their pokemon may migrate and use the distance tool to calculate how far they would have to travel. Students could create a pokemon ecosystem and lay it out on a Google My Map, complete with write-ups about each character or animal and a cutout image to go with it.
5. Play EduGames Similar to Pokemon Go in the Classroom
Pokemon Go is not the only game with educational potential. Having students jump into the Radix Endeavor allows students to categorize animals and their eating habits based on - no kidding - scooping poop. Similar to Pokemon Go, it involves collecting animals and using the data to make crucial decisions.
As noted by edugame expert Matt Farber, Argubots Academy shares similarities with Pokemon Go. Just like pokemon squaring off with hit points and attacks, players can arm their argubots with different attack claims and evidence to defeat the rival bot over a contentious topic.
If those games do not fit your curriculum, why not gamify the entire classroom with a Pokemon Go theme? Students could break into the teams (Mystic, Valor, Instinct, and more they could make up) and take on the role of a trainer leveling up their skills in the classroom. Overlaying the gameplay terminology on a classroom setting would not be hard - it would just take a crafty teacher to make it happen!