Technology can take us on adventures, far and wide! Where will you go?
I love working with teachers from all over the country, and helping them find meaningful ways to integrate technology into their classroom. So often, I come in for a day or a couple hours and hope something sticks. Occasionally, I’ll receive an email or tweet from someone in a workshop, sometimes months or even a year later, sharing what they tried and how it went.
Back in November, I received this happy email from Norm Peckham, an edtech trainer in Mesa, AZ: “I already had a teacher at one of my junior highs call me and he’s changed his whole lesson plan about migration in science so that his students are creating a [Choose Your Own Adventure] story in the Google Form template you created, and I’m helping him and his students out on Monday!!…” He went on to share some resources and example Forms he created as models for his teachers.
Seriously, how cool is that! It’s the kind of email that puts a smile on my face for days!
You’ve probably already figured out that Google Forms is my go-to tool for just about everything in my classroom. However, I haven’t talked much about student-created Forms. These Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) stories are a perfect way to get students comfortable with building Forms, since the template is already done.
Last fall, I had my 8th grade AVID students create Choose Your Own Adventure stories to take us on a tour of a university. This required a lot of background research to create interesting and compelling CYOA campus tours.
Here’s how we did it:
1. Students first researched the university, including history, average freshman profiles, campus features, and interesting facts.
2. Students planned out their journeys using this CYOA Google Doc. This took a little bit of explaining on my part, to help them see how the doc would eventually lead to a branching Form.
3. Finally, students made a copy of the CYOA Form to take us through their adventure.
Once students were done, they presented their story and allowed us to choose two different adventure paths. Each student received peer feedback using, you guessed it, another Form!
Looking back, I wish I had an example to share with students before hand (I know, rookie move) so they could see the vision for the final product. Luckily, Norm created this awesome tutorial video and an example story, The Online Adventures of Mousey and Mickey. Huge shout out to Norm for allowing me to share these with y’all!!
How have you used Choose Your Own Adventure activities in your classroom? Share your best tips in the comments!