We got to it straightaway by creating an anchor chart about 'how to write a journal entry'.
We talked about the requirements and then we created an organizer to help with the beginnings of our journal entries - a guide to help us, a rough draft.
This was such a fun experience! The students and I used our knowledge and experience around the writing process to create expectations for this activity and then scaffold the task in order to lead us to work that we would be proud to publish. Although this is all "my" work - it was part of the the gradual release of responsibility model that we have been using all year.
Now that the students were comfortable with the task, I set them free to research what game they wanted to use and provide them with support and guidance as they went through the process.
As usual, they rose to the occasion. For the past week and a half they have been feverishly working away - researching, writing, playing, editing, revising, and publishing.
Students who finished first were given the option to create another journal entry or assist their classmates by acting as coaches. No one created a second entry, they opted to act as experts and assist their friends with using Google Docs, taking screen shots and saving them to their Drives, and editing and revision.
Once everyone had completed the task, we put our work up for all visitors to the classroom to see.
Don't tell them this....but in reality they spent 15% of their time "playing" and 85% of their time demonstrating their knowledge and understanding, communicating it to myself and their classmates, applying skills they have learned throughout the school year, and providing evidence of their thinking. I told my students today that the way this task came together and the effort and collaboration they demonstrated was the best gift they could possibly give me and that it is one that I will remember and refer to for a long time to come.
What an amazing way to end the school year. Activities like this have helped my students develop into creative/innovative thinkers and technologically literate collaborators. They have had fun blending their learning and rising to the challenges that I have provided them with.
The end of our journey together will come tomorrow. Although it will be sad to go our separate ways, I am filled with joy and excitement for what they have accomplished, for the amazing things they will do, and the unforeseen problems they will help to solve as capable members of our society.