Gaming and Motivation Lesson Plan


The objective of the game I’ve created is to engage students in the topic of finance and challenge them to be involved in the learning process.  With success there will be an increase in awareness and understanding of what it takes to build and participate in a community.

Utilizing the online game CityVille; a web based social networking game created by Zynga. ( I will challenge high school students between the ages of 15 and 17.


Teachers will create a calendar of events to occur over a 4-week period.  The calendar will include: Time for small groups to meet for 15 minutes to conduct neighbor interviews.  Identifying days that challenge activities will occur along with bonus days. 


Example Calendar

The learning objectives I hope to accomplish are;

Explain the components of a community based on the research they provided visually using a form.

Explain the process of Cash Flow based on a form they have created during the activity that informs the class what they purchased and how they were able to obtain their coins.

Describe the challenges and requirements of an expanding community.  Based upon the challenge cards that were provided to invoke family and community events that led to obstacles in growth or development.

Explain the impact of family planning and family members.  Based on pre-determined family choices additional expenses or lack of planning challenge students to invest more in expansion and lose points based on lack of resources.

Understand the benefits of working together with neighbors and community partners.  Working in small groups of 3-4 once a week encourage students to meet and make new neighbors based on a questionnaire they have created before playing.

How Learners will learn the game 

After obtaining permission slips and answering any questions students will be introduced visually to the elements of the game.  

Creating the Story

A CityVille account can be created for the students participating.  During the introduction the students will be presented with the questions;

  • What type of home would you like to own someday?
  • What profession will you have? 
  • What role does it play in the community?
  • What are the important functions of a community?

Students will have 30 minutes to research what the current salary and cost of a home for their family will be.  In addition, they will research the terms associated with each of the forms.

Each student will create a form for an Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, and Family Planning Worksheet based on the responses to the questions they have answered.   Working together socially online and in small groups once a week students will have 5-10 minutes to interview neighbors and build their communities.

Actions, via Cityville, during online work will include (What students will control during the game)

  • Harvesting crops to feed the community (Achievement-Short Term)
  • Building a community building to advance the productivity of the community (Achievement-Long Term)
  • Building homes for their neighbors (Achievement-Short Term)
  • Visit their neighbor’s communities (Achievement-Short Term)
  • Improve their communities by adding buildings, businesses, and infrastructure. (Achievement-Long Term)

Students will also improve their networking and interviewing skills based on role-plays that introduce them to neighbor’s.  Which can help students make connections and continue building their learning outside of the classroom.  During challenge and bonus days students will be rewarded based on their current level of achievement measured by cash on hand, neighbors, and community size.  Additional playing time will be awarded to the top three students.  In addition, there will be challenges that offer a new obstacle to overcome.  Family expansion, natural disasters, and loss of job cards will be randomly selected by students, which they will record as a part of their worksheet.


At the end of the four weeks students will be given a short answer quiz on the terms related to finance.  In addition students will be able to compare their points, cash on hand, community growth, and neighbors to visually share performance and the top three students will be awarded no homework for one week.


Student’s will create and plan a social community via CityVille that demonstrates their understanding of how and what constitutes a community.  In addition, students will create Income and Cash Flow statements that indicate what impact their decisions had on their prosperity and how events directed them to change their direction. 

Fun & Motivation

Allowing students to create their own environments engages them in learning.  Allowing them to create the worksheets, questions, and play the game with those elements in mind reinforces the gaming principles and creates a fun educational experience.


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