Fighting Fantasy as a Teaching Aid
When first published in 1982, many teachers found the Fighting Fantasy books a useful teaching resource, particularly with reluctant readers. Being a game as well as a book, and with reading sections broken up into short numbered paragraphs rather than pages of solid text, these readers found the books much more approachable than traditional children's’ novels.
In 1993, Steve Jackson was invited by the English department of King’s College, Wimbledon to talk to Junior School pupils. The talk became a game itself, with Jackson narrating the adventure whilst the audience of 200 voted their choices. Individuals were chosen to roll dice for the ‘Hero’ and the Monsters. Battles became boisterous affairs with the entire audience cheering their ‘Hero’ on as the dice-rollers fought it out. Complaints were received from nearby classrooms.
Afterwards, English teachers were offered a kit for generating Fighting Fantasy style adventures within their classrooms. Pupils created their own monsters, traps and treasures which would be used in an adventure. Then, led by the teacher, the class played through the adventure. At set points the ‘Hero’ encountered a monster. A nominated pupil would then stand up and read from his own monster sheet. It would be up to the class to decide how to handle the encounter. Without exception, teachers reported a tremendous enthusiasm for this project from their pupils. They wrote long passages describing their monster; its appearance, why it was dangerous and what its weaknesses were. They drew elaborate pictures of their beasts. This pack offers teachers all they need to create their own Fighting Fantasy classroom adventures. The only extra needed is a couple of dice …
While training to be an English teacher at Bishop Challoner School in Birmingham, UK, James Milne set-up an after-school Fighting Fantasy club to encourage more pupils to read regularly for fun.
Pupils responded enthusiastically to the books and the pupils soon took over running the club. James made some resources for the club, and kindly offered them to be used in the "Teaching Aids" section of this website.
Thanks you very much, James.
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