Teachers around North America may be getting D&D classroom materials. Wizards of the Coast have announced they want to bring the benefits of TTRPG groups and the thrills of D&D into the formal institutions of education. Given the rising popularity of TTRPGs, its capacity for cultural expression as well as its recorded benefits to military veterans, using the hobby in the field of education holds a lot of potential.
What are in the D&D classroom materials?
According to an official press release by Wizards of the Coast, the D&D classroom materials are part of a new initiative by the company. Educators can use elements of the world's most popular TTRPG as a teaching aid. Alternatively, students can learn crucial lessons about language arts, composition, mathematics, interpersonal skills, as well as creative problem-solving skills, all of it through the context of going on a big fantasy adventure with weapons, magic, monsters, and treasure.
The press release goes into further detail about the D&D classroom materials. First, there are teaching kits available online at this website for free. These kits are available for students in grades 4-6 and 6-8 respectively. They include rules and comprehensive breakdowns about the benefits of making a D&D character, the creative benefits of creating a world and conflicts to overcome, as well as helpful charts and references to help those not as games literate understand the core components. All of this can be easily downloaded as PDFs or printed and used as handouts. Furthermore, Wizards of the Coast have partnered with the International Literacy Association to develop a series of webinars on how D&D can provide other benefits in a classroom setting.
"With a bit of patience and a set of polyhedral dice, a roleplaying game like Dungeons & Dragons can transform the classroom for young people,” said Antero Garcia, Associate Professor, Stanford University. “Trying on new identities, collaborating with peers to create and explore new worlds, and building unforgettable adventures: these kinds of activities blend academic skills and social development in ways that just might be nothing less than life changing."
In addition to D&D classroom materials, WOTC also announced Afterschool Club Kits. As the name implies, these kits help schools, libraries community centers, and enrichment organizations put together social gatherings or even D&D clubs. You can request one of these kits for free if you are a part of any of the aforementioned institutions. Each kit includes the following:
- The new D&D Starter Set: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle. This set includes an adventure booklet, rules for leveling characters from 1-3, five premade character sheets, and six polyhedral dice
- A set of instructions and guidelines for club organizers
- A demo and learn-to-play guide for new Dungeon Masters
- A set of easy-to-read character cards to help keep players organized
- A poster to help promote your club or organized event
Recently WOTC has released the Dragons of Stormwreck Isle starter set exclusively at Target in NA and will be released worldwide in a variety of other languages on October 1st. They also recently released the Spelljammer: Adventures in Space collection for taking adventures out of this world.