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Fish Lake (Computer Game) Review by Renita Kuehner7 Generation Games
1502 Broadway #303
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Finding games that make learning fun can be hard. 7 Generations Games has made several games that encourage math with children. We recently had the opportunity to review Fish Lake. Fish Lake was created for those students learning fractions (with a few multiplication problems), so the approximate recommended age is between Grades 4 – 6. Fish Lake is different than other educational games, instead of every activity centering around just math facts, students also have the opportunity to expand their understanding of the Native American Plains tribes. I love when subjects can be combined for easier studies!
Fish Lake is an easy to download game for both MAC and PC. Once you have the game downloaded, the only internet connection that Fish Lake requires is for the initial opening and login of your student. It then can be played without internet connect. I found it very interesting that each of our children could create their own account, but don’t forget to have them keep track of their password so they do not get locked out of their accounts.
Caty and I spent several hours playing Fish Lake. We jumped over poisonous snakes, climbed over rocks, went fishing, and answered math questions, all while having our grandparents tell us of the traditional Ojibwe (Chippewa) ways.
One game that was simple for Caty to understand was the sorting of the fish is Level 1. They helped us to identify different species of fish, and sort them to create fractions of the different species. If she wasn’t sure, there was usually an ‘Explain It’ button for her to click on. The ‘Explain It’ button would give her a brief way to solve the problem she was working on. There was not an explanation about why the problem was solved this way, so this allowed me to see areas where she was struggling and where we needed to cover again.
There are math videos between levels that teach students new fractions skills, including Fractions on a Number line. I liked the simple approach that the instruction took, and Caty seemed to understand the explanation and kept improving her grasp on fractions. Some of the games we played could be made more challenging for older students. We tended to lean toward the easier side for Caty.
Fish Lake requires some patience, as well as critical thinking/problem solving skills. As you are on each one of your journeys, including fishing trips at night, you need to be able to control your character. The character needs to be guided through paths, all while you need to jump when needed to avoid rocks, snakes, and tress. You need to be able to shoot arrows and catch fish with spears. All the actions are done with the keyboard, you do not need a mouse to play.
There were times when Caty would get frustrated if she misjudged a snake and her character died. But she stuck with it. I even created my own character just to see how far I could go. I struggled a bit with jumping and walking. Apparently, I am not very coordinated. The controls though are very easy, and sometimes I wondered if my computer was just lagging and causing the frustration I was feeling. But as we wandered along, we just continued to learn more since all videos, games and instruction provided is based on the life of the Plains Indians.
Caty has been enjoying Fish Lake. She still needs lots of help with the math side of the game, but we have enjoyed learning more about the Plains Indians which has woven right into our history studies. She said she felt powerful running through the forest and catching fish the way that the Native Americans did.
If you are looking for a different approach to learning fractions, visit the 7 Generation Games site to watch videos on Fish Lake. You can purchase Fish Lake directly from their site. We are going to keep rowing along learning more about fractions and the Plains Indians.
-Product review by Renita Kuehner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2018