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Learning card

Bringing leisure time and media practices into the classroom


This lesson plan aims to decrease the gap between formal and informal learning. With this activity, teachers can learn about students’ interests and practices outside school in order to use them in the teaching process.

  • Media
  • Videogames


  • Play videogames (in-game individual skills)


  • Search, select and download


  • Self-manage


  • Recognize and describe
  • Evaluate and reflect
Learning areas
  • Social Sciences
Card language
  • Spanish
  • English


45' (Variable)
Number of participants
  • 14-16
  • 17-18
  • Pen, paper, pencils
  • Cardboards
  • Mobile phones, tablets or computers
  • Wi-Fi or Internet connection


Key questions
  • What do you learn in your leisure time, through your media practices (being on social media, watching videos on YouTube, chatting in an online community, playing a videogame, writing stories in wattpad, recording videos, taking photos…)?
  • Have your media practices helped you in school?
  • Do you think your leisure time activities should be considered by the teachers in the classrooms? Why or why not?
  • Should the things that you like to do outside school be important for learning inside the classroom?
  • Imagine how a teacher could use one of your leisure activities in the classroom with pedagogical goals.

Introduction – 25’

Divide students into 4 groups. Students will participate in a “world café” (, discussing a given topic and writing down the main ideas of the conversation. There are four tables, around which each group should gather. Above the table, there is a cardboard with a different question/challenge. Each group has 5 minutes to discuss and write down the main ideas. When the time is over, groups should leave the table (and the cardboard) where they are and go to another table (just the opinions/ideas that are not written down yet should be added). Therefore, each cardboard will have the perspectives of all the groups. The process is repeated until every group has been at every table. At the end, the teacher asks four volunteers to read the ideas written on the four cardboards.  

The questions/challenges on the cardboards (one question per cardboard) are those written in ‘specific questions’ (see above).

The teacher comments on the results – if students don’t think they learn with their media practices, teacher should encourage their reflection (for sure they learn things, like improving English, collaborating, concentrating…). He/she should explain why it is important to cross both worlds (school and informal learning strategies), reminding them of concepts like the “parallel school” (Louis Porcher) and the role school is supposed to play in the formation of citizens (not only professionals).

He/ she should also explain that, for example, videogames are being used by some teachers (even in higher education) in the classrooms (see below: references for teachers).  (10’).

Before suggesting the exercise, the teacher should explain what are serious games and immersive journalism and their importance. The exercise that participants will do is related to this, but also to the school subject.

Each group is challenged to play an online serious game about a conflict or world problem. Students can start by exploring the game in classroom and keep doing it after school time. In the next class, the groups should choose a spokesperson who explains to other colleagues what the game they played is about, and what they learnt by playing it.

Each group should also contextualize the game’s theme. (10’).

The serious games suggested for the classroom are:

- The Migrant Trail – about the emigration between México and USA:

-  Against All Odds – about refugees’ life:

- Darfur is Dying – about humanitarian crisis and war in Darfur:

-  Ayiti The Cost of life – about the cost of living in Haiti:



In the second part of the activity, groups should present the game they played, the problematic addressed by the game, and the research done about the topic. The teacher should evaluate the presentations and add important facts that students forget. In this moment, after participants experience an informal learning strategy inside the classroom and as homework, the teacher and students should reflect again about whether approaches like this are important. (45’).


Sara Pereira. Universidade do Minho (Portugal),

Joana Fillol. Universidade do Minho (Portugal),

Pedro Moura. Universidade do Minho (Portugal),


  • Media
  • Videogames