Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Choose Your Own Adventure stories - How to engage reluctant writers (Pick a path)

I remember reading Choose Your Own Adventure books a lot as a child, in particular the "Your Very Own Robot". I'm sure I read through that book 20-30 times, choosing a different path each time. For that reason I have always liked the idea of giving my students the chance to create their own Choose Your Own Adventure stories using hyperlinks.

Using Google Slides on the iPad or Browser
There are a few ways to do this, but the best way I have found is using Google Slides. It's simple, free and platform agnostic.

Below is an example of a story I wrote myself. The last 3 slides have the planning documents that I use with the students.

Send out a template file to your class
 Click this link to make a copy of the template file I send out to students. Clicking on this link will create a copy of the document. You can copy and paste this link if you want to share it directly with your students.

Planning - The most important step!
Planning out how the story flows is very important when you do this for the first time. I use Popplet with the students, but you could simply use a piece of paper. If you look at the image below I number each step so that it is the same as the slide number in the presentation slide deck. It's important that students can see how the story flows and which step links to the next.

Adding the links on the iPad

Adding links in a browser
Once you have highlighted the text, right click and then click on link. In the link pop up you can choose "Slides from this presentation instead" and click on the slide you want to link to.

Another reason that I like this option for creating choose your own adventure stories is that Google Slides embed very nicely into student blogs, and as I mentioned at the start, are platform agnostic so you can read them on any device.

Using hyperlinks is an important skill for students to understand and this project is a great way to teach students how to use them and gives them some starting ideas on how they can be used.