Monday, November 30, 2015

Choose Your Own Adventure Stories with Technology!

Do your students groan when you mention writing?  Even my reluctant writers LOVED this activity!  Choose Your Own Adventure books have always been popular with kids.  The aspect of having control over how the story goes and how it ends has appeal to everyone.  Giving students the chance to write their own AND incorporate technology with it to animate the story got everyone interested!

We started by having students write a draft of their story in Microsoft Word (any word processor will work though).  I teach 8th grade, so I had them write 12 scenes - each scene ends with 2 choices which then branch the story.  After discussing several methods for organizing that on paper (numbering paragraphs, using color, using a chart, etc.) I turned them loose to create.

This wasn't a quiet, writing environment though.  Instead, students were actively engaged not only in writing their story, but sharing as they went with their classmates.  They refined their ideas, tried different ones, and came up with some great stories!

Next, it was time to animate them.  We used Microsoft PowerPoint, but you could also use Google Slides.  After a quick demonstration of changing backgrounds, inserting transitions between slides, including animations on the pictures on each slide, and adding in hyperlinks to take them to the next point in the story, they were off and running.  Again, lots of interaction between students, showing off their ideas to each other and helping each other make it better!

Prior to this project, I have my students do some short tutorial/projects in PowerPoint to learn the basics.  My Information Technology classes are large (32 students) so students know they can't always have my undivided attention and have to help each other too.  We call this 3B4ME - they need to do three things to help themselves BEFORE asking for my help.  I use this poster to remind them (click here for your own free copy!)

If you'd like the full lesson for creating a Choose Your Own Adventure Story, click here to download.

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