Teachers and grade school students will be going on adventures together with Dungeons & Dragons as part of a teaching initiative.
Dungeons & Dragons has exploded in popularity in the past few years. Due to the global pandemic, the most famous tabletop roleplaying game became the social entertainment of choice. There are more people playing D&D today than ever before, and not just on tabletop but also through video games and MMOs like Dungeons & Dragons Online.
The inclusion of D&D in shows like The Big Bang Theory and Stranger Things, as well as YouTube livestream gameplay videos such as Critical Role, helped this surge of public awareness. And there is even a new big budget, live-action film (Honor Among Thieves) coming soon.
Now that Dungeons & Dragons is coming to the classroom, what can educators and learners look forward to? Check out the details below.
Build an Adventure
As part of Wizards of the Coast’s release of the newest D&D starter set Dragons of Stormwreck Isle, a new learning initiative was launched. This initiative aims to help teach educational and social skills in a way that both the teachers and young students can enjoy.
Titled Dungeons & Dragons Build an Adventure, the program is aimed for Grades 4 to 8. The program is specifically designed for Language Arts and Mathematics, but the resources can be modified for any classroom subject.
What has Dungeons & Dragons taught you?#DnD is a powerful learning tool, and we're proud to offer resources for students and educators to level up in and out of the classroom: https://t.co/L7FPgkWmrt pic.twitter.com/KRanNznZnI
— Dungeons & Dragons (@Wizards_DnD) September 20, 2022
The program resources are available directly from the Wizards of the Coast home site, as well as Young Minds Inspired. Young Minds Inspired, or YMI, is an educational outreach that was established in 1978. It aims to provide free educational outreach programs for schools, daycare centers, youth programs, community centers, religious organizations, and similar institutions with the goal of providing education for all ages.
The Dungeons & Dragons Build an Adventure kits are designed to be easy to learn and build rapport, teamwork, and problem solving skills. The new starter kit Dragons of Stomwreck Isle lets players take on the role of familiar Dungeons & Dragons classes such as the Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Rogue, and Wizard. Players are encouraged to learn about world-building, creating backstories, contributing to the team effort, and more complex interactions.
In addition to the Dungeons & Dragons Build an Adventure initiative, WotC launches resources for starting a D&D club at schools and libraries.
The press release emphasizes how the tabletop fantasy roleplaying game can increase literacy. Plus, using the mechanics improved players’ cognitive and mathematical acumen.
Libraries, schools, community centers, and other enrichment organizations can request the kit from Wizards of the Coast with no cost simply by filling out the form at their website.
Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro has also partnered with the International Literacy Association through special webinars. The aim of the webinars is to eliminate any remaining stigma about Dungeons & Dragons and tabletop roleplaying games, as a whole, while also promoting literacy, creativity, and imagination.
It should be noted that in the early days of Dungeons & Dragons, there was a panic that the game led to corrupting young minds, demonic possession, and other occult practices. This came from a mistaken association with highly sensationalized teen suicides, which were later revealed to be due to social anxieties and substance abuse.
Ultimately, Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games have been determined to actually help develop intellectual and social skills. The new educational initiatives using D&D as a tool in the classroom is a testament of how far the game has grown and has become a part of pop culture and society.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle starter kit launches globally on October 4, 2022.