Story has the power to enthrall and engage, to help us learn and remember, to draw us in and connect emotionally. Storytelling is the innate way humans have communicated throughout time.
That’s why students need to know how to tell story. It’s arguably the most powerful way to make a point and to teach. And that’s what we chatted about the other night in our#games4ed Twitter chat.
We chatted about Choose Y0ur Own Adventure stories, collaborative writing, contributing to classroom RPG games, and integrating non-story telling apps into narratives. Here are some of my favorite takeaways:
- Using CYOA games to make mundane topics exciting. Classroom expectations are often a dull lecture that students hear several times in the opening days of school. I love what @Alex_Milton6 did: Create a CYOA game to review classroom expectations. Not only did this achieve his goal, but it also sets a fun tone for his classroom and provides a schemata for his students if they choose to write CYOA games in the future.
Also, @daveh3rd came up with a new idea of using CYOA to teach systems of the body — a perfect marriage CYOA with a non-ELA content. This just goes to show how great CYOA can be used across the curriculum.
2. Collaborative writing provides a safe place for struggling writers. Writing feels “dangerous” to many students. I hear capable students often say they’re just “not good at writing.” Somewhere, they’ve adopted this mindset. One way to help change this is through collaborative writing. Pairing mentor students with weaker students can help “bring out the most,” as @ZapEdu mentioned. The trick is truly working on collaboration, not the mentor students taking control of the process.
3. Elegy for a Dead World for creative writing. I’ve known about Elegy for a couple years now and have yet to use it. I’ll be revamping my poetry unit for Brit Lit later this summer, and I’m committing to using it.
4. Encourage students to help create your RPG game. Many teachers run overarching role-playing games in their class, either as a unit or throughout the entire year. While teachers may enjoy creating the game, allowing students to brainstorm and submit ideas, as @Alex_Milton6 suggested, promotes student voice and ownership.
To see the archives from the chat, check out Participate.com.
#games4ed meets Thursdays at 8pmET. Join us for great conversations about game-inspired learning in the classroom!