Game of Life brings real-world triumphs and tribulations to Summit Academy Middle School – Columbus students

Middle school student Prince Wimms embraces his Game of Life career as an elementary school teacher. Students from Summit Academy Community School – Columbus adore their new teacher!

Life is a highway. Life is what you make it. Life throws curveballs. Life is but a dream. No matter which catchy line about life you favor, all hold nuggets of truth. Students at Summit Academy Middle School – Columbus came to that discovery as they participated in the Game of Life. The sixth- to eighth-grade students wrapped up their school year engaged in the two-week lesson developed and led by Data Coach Jennifer Murdock and Behavior Specialist Rebecca St. Clair. The curriculum covered lessons on making the transition to independent living and included a gamut of real-world scenarios, such as landing and keeping a job to paying bills and doing laundry.

Game of Life IT technicians (pictured from front to back) Erick Curry, Dashoun Rhynehardt and Jayden Anderson-Smith run maintenance checks on and update Chromebooks as part of their duties in the school IT Department.

Students rolled dice to determine if they were married or single and drew numbers that indicated how many children they had. They interviewed for jobs with prospective employers (roles played by school staff members). Many nailed their interviews and landed their dream jobs, including mechanic, teacher, counselor, bank teller, security guard and others. Other students applied for college admission and scholarships to offset their tuition fees. As in real life, curveballs — good and bad — delivered everything from bank dividends to leaky roofs.

“We didn’t think it would be as popular as it was,” says Murdock, describing how the students embraced their life lessons. “One of our students shared how much she loved working, learning how to pay bills and feeling like an adult in the real world.”

Veterinarian technologist Chyanne Peppers cares for Kevin the guinea pig in the Game of Life.

St. Clair describes how elementary teacher Mr. Wimms (student Prince Wimms) captured the attention and affections of Summit Academy Community School – Columbus students who attended the young teacher’s mock elementary classroom. They even gave him handmade “thank you” greeting cards on the last day of school.

In the end, student Jada Lester won the Game of Life.  Lester’s selection as the winner was based on her completion of tasks in the game packet, her display of professionalism, nomination by her “employer” and

Summit Academy Middle School – Columbus Behavior Specialist Rebecca St. Clair and Data Coach Jennifer Murdock taught their students life lessons in a real-world rendition of the Game of Life.

maintaining the highest amount of money at the end of the lesson, among all the students who participated.

St. Clair says the Game of Life was so popular that she and Murdock plan to span the curriculum throughout next school year, one day a week.