Using Pokemon Go in Any Classroom as an Anchor Activity

Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard of Pokemon Go. Actually, scratch that, if you live under a rock someone has probably turned it over to find a charmander. Buuut, here’s the thing, Pokemon Go debuted in the summer. Our students have had all summer to enjoy mostly uninterrupted Pokemon Go play (hey, it gets the kids moving and outside; if I was a parent I’d looove it),  and now we’re going to ask them to sit still and learn. . . And, there is a Pokegym right next door!
Why not just embrace the madness, and put it to good use in your classroom?
Here’s my personal idea for using the Pokemon Go excitement in your classroom: Send your students on a Pokehunt to “catch them all” and connect it to learning via anchor activities.  
1.       Download the free Aurasma application onto either a classroom device, your device, or that bum device rolling around in the junk drawer (you just need wifi access).
2.       Print out pictures of items that relate to your content (content pics), and hang them around your classroom.
3.       Make a folder (as in a real folder you can hold and touch) and put a different Pokemon on the cover of each folder. Put a different anchor activity in each folder. Dedicate a place in your classroom to be the Pokemon Folder Place.
4.       Make a graph with the X-axis marked with the different Pokemon names, and the Y-axis marked with all the student names. Call this the Pokemon Chart.
5.       Use wifi to connect to internet on device. Find and save Pokemon images to device.
6.       Make an “aurasma” of each content pic and overlay it with a Pokemon image.
a.       Open aurasma app
b.      Click on the “+” sign
c.       Take a picture of the content pic
d.      When prompted for an overlay, choose a  Pokemon pic
7.       When students finish early, they can use their own device (with aurasma downloaded),or the classroom device to scan pictures around the classroom. When students scan an “aurasma-ed” content pic, the Pokemon you chose to use as an overlay will appear (the same sort of augmented reality is used in Pokemon Go).
8.       Students find the folder that matches the Pokemon they just found in the Pokemon Folder Place.
9.       Students do, complete, and turn in the anchor activity.
10.   Students get a sticker to put on the Pokemon Chart indicating they have “caught” that Pokemon.
11.   Students repeat the anchor activity until they have “caught them all”
12.   The first student to catch all the Pokemon wins a prize.
Not sure about what that whole “Aurasma” thing looks like? Read the picture captions below for more explanation!
Let’s pretend I hung this pic of the Eiffel Tower in my classroom. 

I take picture of it using the Aurasma application. When prompted for an overlay (the app automatically does this), I add a picture of a Pokemon (for this example, I chose Pikachcu). 

When a student goes on a hunt, s/he clicks on that big purple button which opens a scanner. 

Student scan the classroom until they find an image that has been Aurasma-ed. When they find one, the overlay will appear. Here you can see Pikachu appearing when the student scanned the picture of the Eiffel tower. 

Here is what the overlay looks like when it is done fading in. 

Annnd, you got a great system for using Pokemon Go for enriching anchor activities. 

2 thoughts on “Using Pokemon Go in Any Classroom as an Anchor Activity”

  1. I love it!! Very clever. I was thinking of using this idea… but a low tech version. I have to have a kid train me in on the game. I still haven't played it. Great post Amy.

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