The Da Vinci Code Game

One of the things I always try to do when teaching is to make the subject alive, to take it out of the realm of just being in the classroom by bringing in the things kids are interested in from the outside world. With all the hype that surrounds them, Hollywood movies make an obvious choice. Simple things like giving a game a name like Harry Potter, Spiderman or Star Wars can really get the kids fired up and totally enthused in the lesson.

And at the moment, the topic on everyone’s lips if of course the Da Vinci Code movie. I’ve been thinking all week that it would make a great game. Yesterday I was looking into some phonics decoding activities, and I got a great idea for the game. Basically all it is is numbers that represent the alphabet e.g. a=1, b=2, c=3. The kids decode then read the word. The cool part is super imposing them onto a picture of the Mona Lisa ( luckily now out of copyright and able to be used!), et voila the Da Vinci Mona Lisa Code Game.

Apart from the name and the picture there’s nothing else from the movie in it. However as you probably know there is quite a bit of controversy around the film. And as I must be about the only person on the planet who hasn’t read the book ( no mobile phone version yet!), tonight at the movie theatre was the first time I’d seen the story. And I can see why some people would be upset by it.

That got me thinking about the game again. Even if it motivates 100 kids to try harder at English, it isn’t worth it if even one kid is offended by it. It’s maybe fine for Hollywood to offend people, well they probably want to do that to get the publicity, but it’s not something that someone in education wants to do. So I decided to take the game down. But then I got to thinking that it is really a good game, and if we keep the Mona Lisa Code Game title instead of calling it the “Da Vinci Code” and the fact that professional teachers are responsible in choosing what to introduce in their classes, then I guess it’s cool to leave it up there because it may be useful to some. But if you feel that it may in any way upset any of your students then please don’t use it, there are lots more ways to get kids into enjoying learning.

And the new Superman movie is only a month away…

Richard Graham

I'm on a mission to make education Genkiβ€”fun, exciting, and full of life! Genki English has now been researched by Harvard University and licensed by the British Council around the world. The results have been magical! Now I'm here to help you teach amazing lessons, with all the materials prepared for you, and to double your teaching income so you can sustainably help many more students in the future!