Featured Post

Word World

What it is: Word World is an awesome site for kindergarten-first grade and especially for students who struggle with reading and letter recognition. Every time I visit the PBS kids site I find a new fun game or activity for kids. Word World is a world of fun characters that are made up of the letters that spell their name. As I said, this would be an excellent site to visit for struggling literacy students. The Word World is very kid friendly and interactive. Students will enjoy spending time on this site! How to integrate Word World into the classroom: This is a great site to used with kindergarten and first grade students at the beginning of the school year. Word World would be a fun one to use as a whole class on a projector or interactive whiteboard. It is also simple enough for students to play individually as a center or in a computer lab setting. For struggling readers, this is a really wonderful place for some one on one therapy. Encourage struggling readers to point out the letters they see making up the characters in Word World as they are interacting and playing games on the site. Tips: As an extension activity, have students draw their own characters using the letters that spell their name. Or, take a word field trip around school and find items that are shaped like letters. Take digital photos of the letters found in the environment and create a digital storybook in a slideshow program. Leave a comment and share how you are using Word World in your classroom.

Read More

Playfic: create, play and remix text-based games

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, History, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-01-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is: Playfic is a site that let’s users create, play and remix online text-based games.  I may have lost some of you already…but don’t leave yet! A text-based game is a genre of game that uses no graphics or sound, but instead, uses text to tell a story in an interactive world.  Think of a choose your own adventure tech-style.  Students can create a story that others can interact with by directing the story using words and phrases.  As an example, the story might be about a forest, describing what you can see East, West, North and South.  The player would type in a direction “East”, hit the return key, and the story progresses.  You can try out a sample text-based game here.

How to integrate Playfic into the classroom: Playfic has all kinds of good stuff for classrooms.  To create a story, students must first learn a little bit of coding.  Tutorials are included on the Playfic site, and are easy enough to get your students up and running in no time.  There is even a link to an Inform 7 (coding language) recipe book that will have your students dreaming up new scenarios and actively researching how to make them come to life.  Students can create games for each other while strengthening their writing and grammar skills.  This is wonderful for fictitious writing, but could also be used for students to explore “what ifs” in history and science.  Students can take a moment in time and dream up what might have been different about the world if the event hadn’t happened the way that it had.  As they are researching and learning about the actual event, they will also be analyzing why the event is important and critically thinking about it’s impact on the world we live in.  Similarly, students could explore a science experiment, hypothesizing what will happen and the different outcomes that might occur.

Teachers could create these choose your own adventure stories for students for new learning or review of a topic.  Wouldn’t it be cool to have a story using sight word vocabulary that prompted practice with the sight words?

I know a handful of students who really struggle with writing…it is PAINFUL.  These students are brilliant. They have great ideas to share. One of the students I have in mind came up to me today and said, “over break I taught myself Lua (programming language).”  Students like these will be all over this type of writing.  What a cool way to engage them and excite them about the writing process in a new way.

One of the things that I really like about Playfic is that it takes a lot of planning, organizing, and thought to create this type of story.  For some students the planning/organizing portion of writing is a real struggle.  This site would be so useful in teaching students the importance of those steps.  I also love that it will have them researching and looking up solutions for how to make their ideas come to life.  Just like we do every day in the “real world.”

Tips: The Inform 7 Recipe book can be found here. 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Playfic in your classroom.

Write a comment

*