The Game of Village © is about play. Play stretches our imaginations and imagination can lead to where ever and whatever our hearts desire.
The Game of Village © offers a hands on, creative approach to life skills based learning. The goal of the game, from the teachers point of view, is to create a structure for learning that is so filled with adventure, creativity and play that the students learn simply by virtue of being who they are and exploring that which “lights them up”. From the point of view of the child the goal of Village is merely to play. A perfect combination of goals!
At Austin EcoSchool Village is an integral part of our curriculum. Set within the historically themed context of our academic cycle (Ancient World, Medieval Times, Age of Exploration and Modern Times) Village allows us to explore culture, geography, interpersonal dynamics, creative problem solving and decision making, economy, government, applied academics and more – all within the setting of a game!
Village is played on a 1/24 scale and begins with the making of a “Peep”, a small person approximately 3” high, and the granting of a Peep sized parcel of real land. It is through the Peep that the game is played. Once created, Peeps are anxious to begin the exciting work of living. They want a home, meaningful work, a new hat or a vegetable garden. A Peep may want to embark on a journey to the moon, open a dude ranch or a pastry shop. But how to do these things? No one seems to have any money, there’s no place to build a Peep town, let alone a Peep home…Clearly someone needs to take charge here - The big question is “Who?”
The answer is, the Students, or Homesteaders; they run this amazing Village. They apply for positions at the Bank, the Post Office, the Accountants Office or the Trading Post; they moderate weekly town meetings, run for public office, apply for bank loans, open checking accounts, design Peep homes, start their own businesses and what have you. The Trading Post offers all manner of goods from lumber and nails to glue sticks and feathers – and with all of this at their finger tips there is nothing the Homesteaders cannot imagine and create!
Students apply for a loan at the Village Bank, a sum which must be repaid before the school years end. With this bit of capital the Homesteaders are able to make purchases from the Trading Post; the raw materials for personal business, home building supplies , or bits for costumes, embellishments and furnishings. All manner of social events crop up; Peep weddings, births, sock hops and funerals are announced in the Village newspaper. The economy may crash, civilians may overthrow governments, a rash of bank robberies may ensue…Who knows what may happen!
Game of Village © is an activity through which children can explore not only the dynamics of the adult world but also the tools we use to operate within it. Mathematics, money management, creative writing, civics, history and more are explored in a meaningful context. Village answers the nagging question, “why do I need to know that ”?
In addition to applied academics Village provides a powerful platform for discovering the value of personal integrity, generosity, accountability, collaboration and positive conflict resolution.
At EcoSchool Game of Village © is a favorite part of everyones school year and one in which we all continue to grow and thrive.