Title of Product
The X Game of Personal and Social Competences (Jogo X Competências Pessoais e Sociais). Resource Manual (manual do recurso)
Name of Author(s)
Recolhas (Fazer Escola com o Escolhas)
Name of Producer
Programa Escolhas / Poder (Es)colher
Language of the review
Language of the product
Type of product
Students with learning difficulties
Description of Contents
This is an online publication about a game for primary school children that aims at helping children and adolescents develop personal and relational competences with the other in every new context. Players are expected to develop individual and group skills as they develop their self-identity and become aware that they are part of a larger community and/or society, where they will have to negotiate between individual and collective objectives.
Game X was developed as a tool to contribute to the integration of children at risk in both formal and informal contexts.
The game consists of a box that changes into a game board. Teams progress as they produce solutions to particular challenges. The game promotes the idea that each player/team must be responsible for own choices when faced with difficult contexts similar to those they will face in real life.
This publication includes an introduction to the game, followed by a theoretical justification and the structure of the game. It includes guidelines on how to structure the 24 previewed one-hour sessions (that can happen in the classroom), materials needed, strengths and weaknesses of the game and a narrative on how it was implemented. The publication also includes a self-evaluation grid and a validation grid, a resource profile, bibliography and the game board itself as annex.
There are 10 challenges in this game with their respective themes: Gagged (how to listen, verbal and non-verbal communication); The Aggressive Ghost (communication styles, passive, assertive and aggressive); The Solitude Ball (belonging to a group, needs and responsibilities); One for all and all for one (cooperation and team work); Decision Labyrinth (Problem solving and decision making); The Peace Bridge (conflict management); The Adventure of Difference (Difference management – gender, culture and handicaps); Mirror Mine (looks, stereotyping and judging); The Pool of feelings (expressing feelings); Self-discovery (self-esteem and self-concept).
This Guide to the X Game is very well structured and clear. It can be used to understand the theoretical underpinnings of the game or to play the game with children in and out of the classroom. Its educational and learning value is very clearly stated. Learning about personal and social skills has been shown as an effective methodology to prevent risk behaviour in young people, particularly those that come from socially impoverished contexts. Particularly in vulnerable environments it is important for children and adolescents to learn to become resilient, i.e. positive adaptation to negative contexts. This can be done through a) exposition to adverse contexts; b) adapting positively.
Besides building resilience, Game X looks at the other four key-areas of psychosocial adjustment of children, namely communication; cooperation/group, problem solving/conflict management, body image/gender identity and affects/self-esteem.
This is a game that was developed with the aim of contributing towards the inclusion of populations at risk and also to be used in non-formal educational contexts. The fact that it is a game for primary school children makes it of great relevance because children learn best through play. Instructions are very clear on how teachers or social care workers may implement it with children. Attention is called that educators should receive previous training on how to use these materials because its dynamics require previous learning and fluency in introducing some topics, besides good time management. This is particularly important for educators who did not have pedagogical training.
The pedagogical attention given to the resource organization is a point of strength since it also includes a pre and post-test Teacher Report Form that allows for close motorization of the X game use. The Validation Progress Form that is part of this resource allows to follow each student’s progress individually, but also to generalize problem areas across genders before and after the game.
Another strength of Game X is its acceptability by children, who consider it to be fun, motivating, a means to associate school to entertaining activities.
As to weaknesses, the one-hour planned sessions seem to take longer than previewed; in order to implement the Game X sessions two educators are needed and they must either include the classroom teacher or be in close contact with the classroom teacher, which is not always possible.
The transferability potential of this resource is very high, because it could be translated into any language and any other primary context in Europe.
The product is a result of this previous project
Title of the project
Programme ‘Poder Escolher’ To be able to choose