Age level: Early Elementary, Upper Elementary
Description: Doodle Quest is a unique drawing game that takes your learners on a deep see adventure. The instructions are simple, but the game can be quite challenging! There are three simple steps: pick a quest card, complete the drawing on your transparent sheet so it fits the scene, then place your drawing on top of the Quest Card to see if you accomplished the mission.
I was especially excited to try out Doodle Quest with my students because so many of them are drawn to visual perception tasks. Doodle Quest is a great way to practice skills related to planning, reading and following directions, comparing two images, and (through scorekeeping) practicing simple addition.
Skills & Modifications: Doodle Quest is easy to modify to meet your learner’s unique needs. It also includes a beginner level (the yellow cards) and an advanced level (black cards) for differentiation. Below are the three modifications I use the most often:
- Introduce the score system later, or not at all. When introducing a game, I want to make it as motivating as possible for my learner so he/she will request to play it again in the future. If the score-keeping part is a challenge and slows down gameplay, I usually will wait to introduce it.
- Add color options for the dry erase. I used a pack of 8 colors of wipe-off crayons. Most learners are highly motivated by choice, and with young learners especially, having a choice in which color to use can increase and maintain interest in the game.
- Add in content related to the learner’s favorite cartoons or activities. I used re-usable stickers and attached them to a Quest Card. This slightly changes the quest, but allows you to make the game specific to each learner. In Quest #2, one learner was circling his favorite cartoon character instead of divers. Over time, I remove the stickers, but it’s an effective way to increase interest and motivation the first time a game is introduced. It’s also a good idea for introducing variety if your learner plays the game often.
Spatial Reasoning – Doodle Quest allows for learners to practice spatial reasoning in a variety of ways.
Addition & Subtraction – Scorekeeping allows learners to practice basic addition and subtraction skills while enjoying the game. It’s not an addition game, but an easy to way to practice the skills intermittently throughout the activity.
Motor Skills – Many learners with autism and other developmental delays struggle to use two hands simulataneously to accomplish a task. In Doodle Quest, each player achieves better results if they use one hand to draw and the other to steady the Quest Card. It’s rare to find a highly motivating activity or game that requires the skill of using both hands simultaneously.
Accepting Mistakes/Errors – I appreciate this game for working on accepting mistakes because it provides opportunities to discuss mistakes, then immediately wipe off the board and try again if the learner prefers to do so.
Peer Play – Many of my learners with autism have excellent spatial reasoning skills, so this is a great option for age-appropriate peer play. I feel that I should also admit here that I have one student who beats me on a regular basis.
Independent Play – Doodle Quest is also a great option for independent play. With two of my students, we have introduced it as an option for the activity schedules. They can complete one Quest Card independently, then show it to a peer, sibling, or adult. It’s a great way to combine their interests for independent activities with opportunities for social interaction and conversation.
Intraverbal Conversation – The game provides lots of opportunities for intraverbal conversation related to tacting (labeling) the pictured items, reading and describing the mission for a particular Quest Card, and describing how well you completed the mission.
Pros: This unique game allows you to practice essential skills in a highly motivating way. Another huge pro is that there are so many Quest Cards it’s unlikely your learner will get bored with the game. Perhaps the best thing about this game, though, is that while it is accessible to young elementary school children, it’s still entertaining and challenging for teenagers and adults as well.
ABLLS: B27, H47, H49, R10
VB-MAPP: Listener Responding 14, Listener Responding 15
Doodle Quest was provided to me for free by the company Blue Orange to write about here. This did not influence my opinions on the game. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.