Teacher Review For Mars Gen One: Argubot Academy

Engaged Students Learning about Evidence

Ann L.
Special Education Instructor
Van Wyck Junior High School
Wappingers Falls, NY
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My Grades 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 4
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Individual
Knowledge gain
Student-driven work
Great with General
Special needs
How I Use It
After teaching writing arguments last year to this group of students, and knowing that using good supporting details was a weakness, I needed something to show them how to shift through and find the best evidence. I used this 'game' as an introduction this year for writing an argument essay. I started with the suggested Warm Up activity to get them thinking, and then explained the game to them. Throughout the game they need to find evidence and then determine if they should keep it or leave it, basically using their skills to decide if it is valuable, relevant and convincing. After they have gathered what they deem is sufficient and good evidence, they duel using it as their weapons. The kids were engaged from the start. Playing a game in ELA class was so 'cool' to them they didn't even question the learn they were doing. I watched them help each other and ponder their decision making. The game takes time. The company suggests 5 days or classes. In order to have data that the teacher can see, because you create a class, the students have to have several duels.
My Take
I absolutely enjoyed seeing my students so engaged in a learning activity. I would like to be able to set levels, as for my lower reading ability students. I would also like to be able to program my own evidence or topic into this game. It definitely showed the difference between good evidence and bad/poor evidence in supporting an argument. And it did so in a way that was fun for the students. I would used it again with another class working on argument writing.