Game Design Documents

Our Game Design unit is coming to an end and the 3rd graders were asked to imagine and start planning their final projects. Their goal is to create a video game based on their Geology knowledge from their recent Science unit.

When we started our Game Design study earlier in the year, I asked the students to reflect on what makes a game a game. Among their many great responses were:

  • Games have a challenge and goal
  • Games have rules
  • Games have controls
  • Games make sense, and/or have a story

To help guide their planning, I asked the students to fill out their own Game Design Documents just like real video game programmers do. These GDDs were more age appropriate of course, but still help scaffold their thought process, and will hopefully keep them on track as they complete their games in the next few weeks. Obviously they also help me understand what they are thinking and help me draw out any misunderstandings – and highlight if a student forgot to make any connections to their Geology knowledge at all!

Some sample student design documents with teacher notes:


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