My awesome project is the utilization of Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop role-playing games) in my classroom. Over the last four years, I have used Dungeons and Dragons to teach my students about a variety of life skills. These include social interaction skills, interpersonal skills, and critical thinking skills. My students are all special needs with a variety of disabilities, but all struggle with social interactions and applying skills learned to real life situations.
With Dungeons and Dragons my students get to work together as a team and learn how to problem solve using imaginary characters and scenarios. We are then able to work on generalization of these skills in order to apply them to their real world relationships, especially conflict resolution.
Since I have started this in my classes, my students have expressed their interest and love for the fantasy worlds and adventures. I have seen students who refuse to talk and participate engage their peers in new and exciting ways. I have seen students learn that it is not always “their way or the highway”, and how to share and respect other opinions. Students have shown interest in writing their character's complex backstory, when they previously refused to write at all.
These fantasy games have allowed for my students to imagine themselves in new and interesting scenarios where they couldn't before. They have allowed my students to become fantastical heroes and even villains to express themselves unlike any video game they had previously experienced.
I have been able to bring in some of my own supplies for the kids, but it would be amazing for them to be able to utilize a school set of books and tools without worrying about damaging someone else's personal property. There are many local businesses that sell these supplies that I would love to continue to support. Some of these businesses are within walking distance of the school. This would allow the students to be involved in the entire process.
Funded by Chicago, IL (March 2022)