Gone are the days when crowds gathered around a wobbling card table in the basement or tried to find some space in a cluttered dining room. Kids’ first Dungeons & Dragons adventures can now take place in their school library or classroom thanks to a strong new educational initiative from Wizards of the Coast.
D&D’s new teacher resources include a new kit for teachers and parents who run after-school clubs, as well as a webinar of experts discussing how role-playing plays emotional and basic literacy skills. Improves both. An official syllabus for classes 4 to 8 is also being released this month. All are free.
“Anyone who has played Dungeons & Dragons can see the socio-emotional and learning benefits associated with the game,” said Wizards of the Coast’s Shelley Mazzanoble in an interview. “There is a lot of reading, writing, math, as well as strategic and analytical thinking before the game even starts. Couple that with collaboration, empathy and creativity that is comfortable to D&D and you have an almost perfect learning tool for kids of all ages. ,
While these teacher resources are new, D&D in the classroom has been around for years. Jack Clay, a former full-time middle school band teacher, began working with children in D&D school programs in 2018. Now a professional Dungeon Master, Clay still shares his time volunteering at his local middle school and high school D&D clubs. He has seen the benefits of sport in action.
“I have many students who claim that English is one of their least favorite subjects, but they will absolutely devour a fantasy book, comic book, or any book related to D&D,” said Clay. Told. “I have students who say they don’t like math, but in D&D, they like to calculate how to get the most damage using different spells and magic weapons.
“In my experience, when it comes to literacy and aptitude in a subject, it is a student’s passion and interest that motivates them. I have seen D&D be the spark that ignites that passion for them. where they did not have their normal school classes.”
The after-school club kit isn’t the first time teachers and volunteers have been given out, but the latest iteration includes all-new content for clubs—not just in schools, but community centers, public libraries, and anywhere they can come together in a group. can. Dungeon Masters also doesn’t require any previous experience.
“The after-school club kit we are offering now is brand new,” Mazzanoble said, “and includes a copy of the recently released D&D starter set. Dragons of Stormwreck IsleInstructions and guidelines for club organizers, a quick demo and learning guide for Dungeon Masters, easy to read character cards, a poster and flyers to advertise your club.
Clay already has plans to pick up the kit for future sessions with his students.
,[It’s] Exciting to me because it makes this wonderful, creative game more accessible to everyone,” he said. “I wish I had the creative and social outlet that D&D provided when I was my student age. There was no D&D club at my school at the time, and it was not easy to find or understand the resources to start Now with free after-school kits and even online resources like D&D Beyond, I think we’re going to start many more clubs and student D&D groups around the world.”
As far as the curriculum is concerned, Wizards has collaborated with Young Minds Inspired to create a unique classroom experience. The colorful “Build an Adventure” digital learning kit includes a game overview, lesson plan and activities for students.
“When it comes to literacy and aptitude in a subject, it is a student’s passion and interest that motivates them.”
“We have created turnkey teaching kits for grades four to eight that will take children on a collaborative storytelling adventure using language arts, problem-solving and interpersonal skills,” Mazzanoble said. “No experience with D&D is required for students or teacher.
“It’s a completely creative experience, allowing kids to express themselves and share their creations with others through world-building and character-building. Dare I say, they’ll have so much fun.” They won’t even know they’re learning?”
Wizards of the Coast’s educational initiative is much more than just a professional project for Mazanoble. It is also a personal passion.
“I love the idea of introducing a new generation of fans to the sport, especially because I’ve seen the positive benefits associated with playing for the first time,” she said. “D&D is a great equalizer. It’s scalable for all experience levels. It brings people together who might not otherwise find each other. It provides a safe space for discovery and building trust.”
You can reserve an after-school club kit now at the Wizards teacher resource site. The official school curriculum is available at no cost through Young Minds Inspired.