ELA lesson plan — December’s Quest of the Month

Introducing Classcraft’s ninth Quest of the Month! Each month at Classcraft, we’ll be choosing one awesome teacher and quest to promote. Our pick for the month of December is Kurt Lemke, the creator of the quest “Escape from Alcatraz,” an English Language Arts lesson plan that gives grades 6-9 a chance to earn some extra credit. You can import this quest here.

If you use Classcraft, you can submit quests you’ve created to be the next Quest of the Month on our submission page. Quests are personalized, self-paced, choose-your-own-adventure lessons for students. 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.

Take it away, Kurt!

What grades and subjects do you teach?

Kurt Lemke: Grade 7 English Language Arts

How long have you been teaching?

Lemke: Six years

Where do you teach?

Lemke: Castle Dome Middle School in Yuma, Arizona

What made you decide to use Classcraft?

Lemke: I needed something to help my students work together and to manage my classroom. Class Dojo was too juvenile for my middle schoolers.

What kinds of things are you passionate about?

Lemke: I love my family. I love seeing the light go on in my students’ eyes as they start to understand an obscure concept and how it can be applied to their lives. I want to teach students how to think outside of school.

Why do you love the quest you created? What makes it special?

Lemke: I created it as an extra credit path for my students. We have been using [Scholastic] Scope for years and Iove the integrated lesson plans. This quest gives the students an opportunity to read and respond at their own pace.

I set it up so that the higher level (Paladin of Palindrome) readers do not have to complete the lower level quests (Wizards of Words). This way they are each challenged at their own level.

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

Lemke: Most of them seem to enjoy it, especially since they get extra credit — one point for each worksheet completed at 90 percent or higher. They like the ability to choose their destiny in the quest. They even like my storytelling. When I approve their move to the next level, I keep with the theme and let them know the guards have not spotted their expeditions and they can continue with their escape.

Eventually, I would like to create self-grading Google quizzes for each step, which then sends the students onto the path that they are best suited for.

What’s one of your favorite things about Classcraft?

Lemke: Outside of the noise meter, I love the random events. The students will remind me if we were too rushed to get one at the beginning of the period. They love the excitement of not know what is coming and that they — or even I — may have to do something silly.

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