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Icarus Needs

BEFORE YOU START

Play Icarus Needs by going to the Armor Games website.

If you get stuck, here’s a walkthrough video to find out how to complete the game:

 

LESSON PLAN

Aim: for students to develop their reading skills in the context of a story and practise vocabulary by seeing the words in context
Resources: Icarus Needs game, one computer with Adobe Flash player per 2-3 students, worksheet
Age: 11-14, 15-18
Level: A2+
Time: 30 minutes plus optional extension

PROCEDURE

Before the lesson

  1. Play Icarus Needs and write the story of what you did in the game from Icarus’ perspective. Grade the text according to your students’ level. You could adapt this example:

Icarus found himself in a strange building. He saw some stairs and decided to climb them. He walked along and saw a mouse running into a hole. Then he found a giant phone. Someone spoke to him but then the line went dead. He took part of the phone with him and went back downstairs. He went down a hole and climbed down a ladder. He used the phone to cross an underground river and found an abandoned fishing net. He didn’t want to catch any fish. He went back across the river, up the ladder and up the stairs. This time, he used the fishing net to catch the mouse. He gave the mouse to the cat. Then he broke some glass to get a key. He went back downstairs, walked past the hole and gave the key to a man who said he was a door. He let Icarus pass. He went outside and found a man selling rope. He didn’t want to buy any but then, when he walked a little further, he realised he would need some rope to go down a well. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any money, but he knew the rope seller would accept apples as a form of payment. To get to the top of the apple tree he took a ride in a hot-air balloon. Once he was there, he picked five apples to give to the rope seller. He used the rope to go down the well. At the bottom, he found another giant phone! He picked it up and used it to cross a dangerous pit with some sharp spikes.

Soon, Icarus was in another building. He walked through the swimming pool and up some stairs. On the first floor there were some bolt cutters. He thought they would be useful so he put them in his pocket. He went back to the swimming pool, and at the bottom there was a treasure chest. Inside the treasure chest there was a crown! He took the crown to the throne room where the king was expecting him. He tried to talk to the king but he just said ‘Squeeeak!’ He went back downstairs and into the basement, where he found some dried mud. He hurried back upstairs and into the swimming pool, where the water washed away the mud and revealed a strange disc. He took it upstairs, where he used it to open a secret door. He went through the door and up some more stairs, and found himself on the roof of a castle! Finally, Icarus saw his friend Kit in a hot-air balloon. He wanted to rescue her but Kit said she was there to rescue him! He tried to jump into the balloon but … then he woke up and it was all a dream. Or was it?

  1. Gap out the words for the key objects that appear in the story to make a student worksheet. For example:

Icarus found himself in a strange building. He saw some stairs and decided to climb them. He walked along and saw a _____ running into a hole. Then he found a giant _____. Someone spoke to him but then the line went dead. He took part of the _____ with him and went back downstairs. He went down a hole and climbed down a ladder. He used the _____ to cross an underground _____ and found an abandoned _____. He didn’t want to catch any _____. He went back across the _____, up the ladder and up the stairs. This time, he used the _____ to catch the _____. He gave the _____ to the _____. Then he broke some _____ to get a _____. He went back downstairs, walked past the hole and gave the _____ to a man who said he was a _____. He let Icarus pass.He went outside and found a man selling _____. He didn’t want to buy any but then, when he walked a little further, he realised he would need some _____ to go down a _____. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any money, but he knew the _____ seller would accept _____ as a form of payment. To get to the top of the _____ tree he took a ride in a _____. Once he was there he picked five _____ to give to the _____ seller. He used the _____ to go down the _____. At the bottom, he found another giant _____! He picked it up and used it to cross a dangerous pit with some sharp _____.

Soon, Icarus was in another building. He walked through the _____ and up some stairs. On the first floor there were some _____. He thought they would be useful so he put them in his pocket. He went back to the _____, and at the bottom there was a _____. Inside the _____ there was a _____! He took the _____ to the throne room, where the _____ was expecting him. He tried to talk to the _____ but he just said ‘Squeeeak!’ He went back downstairs and into the basement, where he found some _____. He hurried back upstairs and into the _____, where the water washed away the _____ and revealed a strange _____. He took it upstairs, where he used it to open a secret _____. He went through the _____ and up some more stairs and found himself on the roof of a _____! Finally, Icarus saw his friend Kit in a _____. He wanted to rescue her but Kit said she was there to rescue him! He tried to jump into the _____ but … then he woke up and it was all a dream. Or was it?

During the lesson

  1. Tell students they are going to read a comic strip about a young boy called Icarus who needs to wake up from a dream.
  2. Hand out the worksheet. Set a time limit for students to work in pairs or small groups to guess the missing words. Elicit the missing words from different students without confirming whether they are right or wrong.
  3. Tell students that this comic strip is also an interactive game and that they are going to play the game to write in the correct words.
  4. In the same teams, students play through the game and write in the missing words as they appear in the story.
  5. Once students have finished, collect whole-class feedback by asking different teams to read out sentences or paragraphs.

TAKING IT FURTHER

Depending on your students and the time available, you could:

  • give students words to choose from for each gap in the text
  • give students the full text but with ten deliberate factual errors
  • make the task more competitive by announcing that the winner is the first group to finish the game and complete the text
  • ask students to note down all the things Icarus ‘needs’ during the story and then use this information to reconstruct the text
  • get students to write a similar text about a dream
  • get groups of students to design similar comic strip games using a template.

OVER TO YOU

Do you feel you could use this lesson idea with your students? If so, how would you integrate it into your curriculum? How would you make sure your students used English?

Can you think of any other ways of using Icarus Needs in the classroom?

Discussion

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