The Art of Darkness

Zombie-Based Learning

May 23rd, 2012 by Cobwebs

I know I gripe about the ubiquity of zombies in pop culture right now, but this is actually pretty cool. Middle-school teacher David Hunter is engaging his students in geography by teaching it in the context of surviving a zombie outbreak. He’s put up a Kickstarter project to help fund his curriculum design.

The narrative is what leads the learner through scenarios in the zombie apocalypse where geographic skills will need to be applied. This narrative has 5 different scenes:

Planning for the Outbreak
News of a zombie-like outbreak has reached your community. You are helping to plan in case the outbreak reaches your area.

Post Outbreak Survival
The outbreak has reached your area and chaos has followed. You use your skills to just try and survive and find other survivors.

Finding a Place to Settle
Through surviving you have met with other survivors, now you are trying to decide upon a safe place

Building a Community
With your group of survivors, you make decisions to build a safe and sustainable community.

Planning for the Future
Based on what you know about Geography, and based on a knowledge of the past, your community makes long term plans for survival and rebuilding a life.

I think this is a marvelous learning tool. One of the best ways to teach a subject is to help the students understand why it matters (even if the application to everyday life is somewhat…tenuous). Dry facts and figures are boring; information that’ll keep your face from being eaten off by zombies is something you’ll probably pay attention to.

This technique could be expanded to many other subjects and a wide variety of monstrous threats, from studying disease vectors in the context of vampirism to using Oceanography for finding R’lyeh. If you’ve got a kid who’s reluctant to study, this might be a useful way to engage their interest.

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Bittens | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. LimeyFish Says:

    A friend of mine is a math teacher in Cleveland, and he has a weekly lesson called “When Are We Ever Gonna Use This!?”

    Something like this might be called “When Are We Never Gonna Use This!?”

  2. Kattie Says:


  3. xJane Says:

    This is a cute idea. I remember my geography teacher teaching us about topographic maps by letting us make our favorite fantasy world out of clay and then chopping it off, one centimeter at a time to create our own. My partner and I did Redwall.

  4. xJane Says:

    Apparently, this is not a problem isolated to teaching children. I present for your edification: the tax implications of the undead.

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