Save the Flamingo! Spell and Write English in the BallonBlast Game in Mingoville Virtual World

It’s time for the next post on English educational games in Mingoville Virtual World. I still miss to cover one more English game before I make the overview on all games in Mingoville. If you havn’t been following the recent posts, I’m writing about all the educational games of Mingoville Virtual World. Previous gaming posts are: Quiztalk, SuperStar, Lettergame, & Boat Race.

For some parents and teachers it’s not always easy to grasp serious gaming in virtual worlds because they do not spent most of their time playing games online as a lot of kids do. In these gaming posts I’m trying to give all grown ups an overview of the educational games in Mingoville as well as their learning element – how do kids learn English playing these games. No doubt kids are having fun but we can see a lot of teachers signing up schools at the moment so serious educational gaming is gaining ground among adults as well.

With these posts, I hope to inspire more teachers and parents to implement and use Mingoville for teaching their kids English. It’s easy and it’s fun for everybody. Try it out!

Balloon Blaster - Save the flamingo! This post covers the BalloonBlast game where the students can give the flamingo a save flying trip by spelling and writing the right English sentence. If they type a wrong letter, a balloon blasts which makes the trip a bit more dangerous. The BalloonBlaster is a modern edition of hangman.

The BalloonBlast game is developed to improve the kids’ skills of listening, writing and spelling English. Moreover, it also develops the coordination skills as the students have to comprehend what has been said and pass on the information by writing it. This Balloon Blaster - Save the flamingo!is how the game goes:

1.    In the beginning of the game, the student chooses if she wants to hear the English sentence from a male or a female voice. The different intonations of the voices teach the student to understand the English of different people.
2.    After listening to the sentence, the balloons take the flamingo on a tour in the skies. To keep the flamingo flying, the student has to reconstruct the voice message by writing it. The game constructs the sentence itself; all it needs is the right letters.BalloonBlaster - practice English spelling, writing and listening
3.    For every wrong letter, a balloon is blasted. If the student uses 6 wrong letters, there are no more balloons left and the flamingo falls to the ground and the game is over.
4.    Points are giving based on the time spent reconstructing the sentence.

In classroom, the game serves as complementary practice tool to the lessons in the different Missions. It’s not a game for the beginners though; the students need a basic knowledge of some English words in order to play the game. As always the incentive of the game are the points gained which are exchanged to coins and feather to be spent around the Virtual World.

As always, please give us feedback on your experience with using or implementing Mingoville into the kids English education.