June 26, 2018 7:13 pm
Updated: June 26, 2018 8:09 pm

Edmonton kids learning through fantastical story-telling game

WATCH ABOVE: A special after-school group at an Edmonton elementary school has a teacher hoping that fantasy role-playing will help students learn practical life skills. Sarah Kraus explains.

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Students at Delton Elementary School had a chance to battle unicorns and volcanoes after they finished class on Monday, as part of their Dungeons and Dragons club.

Each week, they meet to play the game with two of their teachers, who act as leaders or “dungeon masters” and narrate magical stories that include obstacles the students need to work around.

“You work together as a team to overcome and tell the great stories of how you slayed the dragon, caught the biggest fish or found the most gold,” founder Marc Schubert explained.

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Grade 4 student Dea-Lynn Richard first played the game at home with her dad. Now she loves playing it at school and making friends with kids in higher grades.

“It feels really fun and interesting,” she said.

Schubert hopes there’s an educational aspect to the game too.

“It builds a bunch of life skills like critical thinking and teamwork and collaboration. It also works on academic skills like numeracy and literacy,” he said.

The games challenges your brain, according to Richard.

“We did a skill test and you really had to think because there was four big giant giants coming at us and we had to stop them from coming.”

To do that, the kids used a flaming boomerang.

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The club launched a few months ago. Schubert wanted to give kids an outlet that wasn’t sports-oriented.

“My favourite thing is that you get to go on awesome adventures. You meet new creatures and monsters,” Richard said.

At the final Dungeons and Dragons game of the school year, Schubert surprised the kids with their own games to take home and play through the summer. To pay for the games, he collected donations through a GoFundMe campaign.

“We’ve seen support from Wizards of the Coast, who owns Dungeons and publishes Dungeons and Dragons. We’ve seen support from a guy and his wife who run a dice company in Texas. We’ve seen support from GoFundMe themselves,” he said.

Next year, Schubert is hoping to see other local schools start up clubs as well.

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