There are tons of resources on the website to go with After the Storm, and that's a good place to look first. There's also a unified version of three, similar games called Read to Lead, which includes After the Storm. Teachers can check the objectives of each episode, then teach the concept before assigning the episode (it works best to allow a class to complete an entire episode in one sitting). Because of the nature of the topic, there are also some great extension activities teachers could conduct, encouraging students to think about an emergency plan for their own community, check to see if such a plan exists, and create their own for themselves, their schools, or their families.Continue reading Show less
After the Storm is an ELA, point-and-click game where students take on the role of editor of the local newspaper following a devastating storm. It's part of the Read to Lead series along with Community in Crisis and Vital Signs. It's your job to manage the paper, and that means talking to reporters, assigning stories, combing social media for reliable stories, talking to locals, and finally writing and editing stories for the paper. Along the way, you'll have to take notes on important details to include in your final story, decide which stories are reliable, and determine which information has no place in your paper.
After the Storm does several things really well. There are tons of things for kids to do, whether you're writing an article, updating your résumé, or deciding which social media tweets best serve a blog post. Students will also feel engaged with the interactive game style -- there's just enough agency and choice in the activities that it really does feel like a game and not a conversation you happen to be reading. And the nature of the game makes it very difficult to skim through, forcing deeper engagement with the process.
The game includes activities that address a variety of skills, from proofreading to résumé creation to digital presentations, and it handles them all effectively, if not with a lot of depth. To make sure students really engage with these big ideas and hone these skills, teachers will need to offer good context and find ways to make the game fit in with other classroom activities. Luckily, the site that accompanies the website has a lot of good suggestions. Take a look at the game and then at the site: This is a neat simulation to help kids get engaged with several key ELA skills.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
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