DIY Choose Your Own Adventure -- a Writing/Technology Showcase
1 Hook #1
Classes of students would be invited into the school library media center for a book talk centering around the action/adventure and mystery genres of fiction. Using Socrative, I would get introductory feedback about what "makes" a great action/adventure/mystery story compared to other genres and elaborate on student input to further discussion--leading ultimately to how authors connect settings/scenes and events/actions.
We would then spend some time looking at book trailers from publishers like those listed below and use Socrative to gauge interest in character types (boys vs. girls vs. groups) and settings (land vs. water and modern vs. historical) before allowing students to check out books for the upcoming unit (and ensuing activities).
Publisher-produced book trailers:
Random House Children's Books: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9LvODN4v9P3dxwOIYlBULA
Simon and Schuster: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC76b6XAkcfMLqgCV4xBuoTQ
Little, Brown, and Company Books for Young Readers: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC13E3aSIWXo4_L4SvfuBlkA
Penguin Teen: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkDcdSc2dcfFhRNwwxO_BWw
2 Guided Practice/Independent Practice #1
3 Hook #2
After students have finished reading and flowcharting/brainstorming of important plot points, they came back to the library and I had them access the following story using their own devices or the computers/iPads available, challenging them to find the ending that does NOT result in an injury (SPOILER ALERT--they ALL result in injuries!):
(I highly recommend creating/personalizing your own stories using Inklewriter before sharing with students)
We then discuss what choose-your-own-adventure stories ARE and get them thinking about how the books they read could be different with just one or two plot twists....
4 Guided Practice/Independent Practice #2
Armed with the flowchart they've created about their action/adventure/mystery novel, they are going to use a tool called Inklewriter (https://writer.inklestudios.com/) to build a choose-your-own-adventure story that not only allows the reader to choose the ACTUAL path of plot points from the novel, but others that students have decided to change.
Key things to remember about Inklewriter:
1) Students need to create a log-in/password before they start writing and log in each time they use it--it's currently in beta and doesn't have a password-retrieval option
2) It's not particularly collaboration-friendly--if groups of kids want to write, they will have to use a single-users information to log in
3) It's not as complicated as it seems--when characters could make more than one decision, they just need to "add options" and build the story from there!
4) Once the story has been saved, you can 'share" it, which produces a unique URL--this URL WILL NOT CHANGE, even if you make edits to the story!!
5 Wrap Up/Showcase
Now the fun part--showing off what students have done and having them do a little peer review!! It's a lot of work, but much of it can be outsourced to students :)
1) Create a student roster with random numbers assigned to each student (you'll need this later)
2) After they've finished their Inklewriter stories, have them "share" their story and copy the URL--this needs to be turned into a QR code (I like http://www.qrstuff.com/ for several reasons--students can customize colors, don't need to log in, can download easily....)
3) Have them print out their QR code on a sheet of paper with their name on the top to turn in
4) Using your name/random number roster, chop the names off of the QR codes and clearly write the random numbers
5) Mount these sheets all over your classroom, the hallway, or wherever you'd like to do the showcase/evaluation activity.
6) Students will use their own devices (or devices you might have to use with them) to scan the QR codes and read through the stories written by other students -- using the random number prevents kids from just reading their friends' work. I also had students initial stories they've read and evaluated to ensure that all stories get read 3 or 4 times throughout the day--just direct students to find a story with "___ or fewer initials" -- depends on how many class periods you've done the evaluations.
7) After each story they've read, they can use a simple Google Form (mine looks like this: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12fQ9pBe45I3TGwTWE9v69hHOaguCceInOSXWjCXhO6g/viewform ) to complete a peer evaulation. The results only go to YOU (or the creator of the form), so you can decide how to share results with students! With a little careful sorting and deleting of reviewers' names, you could even print out results to share with each writer!
This was a great activity that I hope to continue for years to come!