Blog_Feature_QotM-2020-04 (Corbe Ashby)

Biology lesson plan — April’s Quest of the Month

Is your tribe ready to take on great dangers and challenging puzzles to unlock the core components needed to create life? Classcraft’s Quest of the Month turns students into explorers of the components needed to power our cells and build our bodies.

Each month at Classcraft, we choose one awesome quest — personalized, self-paced, choose-your-own-adventure lessons for students — to share with educators everywhere! For April, we’ve selected a hands-on introduction to macromolecules in the “Trial of Sustenance,” by Corbe Ashby. 

This science-themed lesson leverages quality activities including modeling stations, puzzle-solving, a video and guide portion, a review, and a Google quiz for assessment. It also integrates embedded media and direct-download files. 

This may be Corbe’s first quest, but he has crafted an epic storyline that puts students in the starring role as they complete their tasks. 

This lesson scales easily to all levels of instruction and, with a little coordination, can work in a remote learning context. 

Import this quest now to start using it with your class. 

If you use Classcraft, you can submit the quests you’ve created for the next Quest of the Month on our submission page. Our goal is to spotlight the amazing educators who inspire us and share creative, teacher-made content with our global community of forward-thinking educators.

If you’re new to Classcraft, check out how quests can supercharge your lesson plans. Whether you’re a Classcraft newbie or pro, everyone can level-up their quests with our free plug-and-play narrative experience, Story Mode

 Now, time to meet the creator of this epic quest. Take it away, Corbe!

Classcraft Gamemaster Corbe Ashby
Classcraft Gamemaster Corbe Ashby

What are your teaching stats?

Corbe: I’ve been teaching for four years at Castle High School in Newburgh, Indiana. I cover grade 9 biology and grade 11-12 forensics.

What inspires you?

Corbe: MY students are a constant inspiration for me. Their eagerness to learn and to explore science keeps me loving my career year after year.

What made you decide to use Classcraft? 

Corbe: My brother found it five years ago and tried the free version in his middle school Spanish class. He told me it was something I would enjoy. I have been using it for four years now, two of which have been Premium, and I love it!

Your favorite things about Classcraft are …

Corbe: The thing I love most is that my high school students love it. I was hesitant about whether students that age could get into gamification software, but they have! 

I love the customization of the events, powers, and sentences. It really helps each teacher make it their own. My students and I have come up with plenty of exciting Random Events to start the day together. I love that with Premium, I can upload classroom content I would normally handout in either hard copy or a digital assignment, and create engaging quests instead. 

My students love the story, the sense of purpose and direction that the tasks give them, and the rewards (of course). 

Quest: Trial of Sustenance (QotM April 2020)
Quest: Trial of Sustenance

Why do you love the quest you created? 

Corbe: The quest I created was originally a station activity that I particularly loved about macromolecules. Once our school went one-to-one and every student had a device in their hands, I figured I could turn the stations into tasks in a quest. 

This was my first attempt at making a quest so with all the components of the activity, it took me quite some time. 

There’s a molecular model station, some puzzles to solve, a video to watch, and a quiz to win. I’ve always loved the activity because it’s multifaceted, allowing for some great movement and engagement with the content. Being able to transform this lesson into an interactive quest and keep the physical component in the classroom has been incredible. The engagement was higher than ever before and my students loved working within their teams. 

My favorite part of this quest is the storyline. This was before Classcraft implemented the Story Mode seasons with homemade Classcraft lore. I spent quite some time devising a cohesive story that could be fun and engaging but still relevant to the content. I think any life science teacher will appreciate some of the subtle, and not-so-subtle, nods to the world of biology hidden along the way. I would recommend this quest as a great overview of the world that is macromolecules. Students can sometimes struggle to find excitement in learning about carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids, but with this quest, the learning becomes fun and interactive. 

What did your students think of your quest? How did they react? 

Corbe: My students loved it! They appreciated the self-paced nature of the quest so they didn’t have to feel pressured to rush through before reaching competency. They loved the story, the map, and all the tasks along the way. They appreciated the bonus options for early turn-in. If they accelerated through the assignment they could get extra XP and GP. 

More than anything they appreciate doing fun engaging lessons that give them a well-deserved break from the monotony of lectures and notes they tend to get from their other classes. 

How do you like to spend your summer breaks?

Corbe: My wife and I have traveled a lot over summer breaks in the past, including an 8,000-mile road trip through most of the Western US. But last year we had a little girl! Now we’ll spend our summers creating as many memories of fun and adventure as we can for the entire family! 

What’s the best thing about being a teacher?

Corbe: The students. They are the lifeblood of what I do. I love getting to know them, getting off-topic when they ask questions, goofing around with them, engaging them, challenging them, learning from them, and loving them. Teaching is in my bones. 

What wisdom would you like to pass on to your students?

Corbe: I share many pieces of “wisdom” in my classroom regularly, but some are more important than others. 

I want them to know that high school is just the start of what will be an incredible life if they allow it to be so. That all the drama, hardships, breakups, and challenges they face now will be insignificant in 10 years. 

That they should always advocate for themselves, fight for what they want, take care of the people around them, work as hard as they can, learn as much as they can about people unlike themselves, never take life too seriously, never let another person determine their value, constantly practice self-love and care, and always make time for the people they love. 

Is there a quote you live your life by?

Corbe: “There’s always time for love”. That is our family motto. 

Sometimes life can get hectic and with so many things going on at once it is easy to let self-care and quality time with loved ones fall by the wayside. When my family gets bogged down by the demands thrown our way, we always try to remind ourselves to make time for love.

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