2018 Sept QotM Josh Banks The Curse of Salem

History and literature lesson plan — September’s Quest of the Month

Introducing Classcraft’s sixth Quest of the Month! Each month at Classcraft, we’ll be choosing one awesome quest to promote. Our pick for the month of September is Josh Banks, the creator of the quest “The Curse of Salem,” a lesson plan that combines high school level American literature, media literature, and creative writing. You can import his 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, Josh!

2018 Sept QotM Classcraft Gamemaster Josh Bank
Classcraft Gamemaster Josh Bank

What grades and subjects do you teach?

Josh Banks: I teach Grade 11 American Literature, 10-12 Media Literature, and 10-12 Creative Writing.

How long have you been teaching?

Banks: Going on 19 years.

Where do you teach?

Banks: Ste. Genevieve High School in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.

What made you decide to use Classcraft?

Banks: I was taking an e-Mints class at our school through a program with Missouri-Baptist College. Once I read about the program and looked at how it implements my curriculum through Google Classroom, it seemed like a cool way to engage students.

What kinds of things are you passionate about?

Banks: I enjoy reading, exploring new technology opportunities in the classroom setting, traveling, watching Miami Dolphins play on Sundays, and I’m a huge movie buff.

2018 Sept QotM Josh Banks The Curse of Salem
The Curse of Salem

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

Banks: The Crucible is a look into a historical dark time in American culture. It literally is where the coined term “witch hunt” came from. How many times in our culture are people accused of something in times of turmoil and assumed guilty regardless of the truth? I traveled recently to Salem, MA over the summer and truly enjoyed the culture and history which still exists everywhere. The places in the video exist to this day and so does the atmosphere. The quest covers how superstition in human growth, affects the way people lived and reacted (in) times of crisis.

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

Banks: The students enjoyed being able to work at their own pace during the quest. They focused more on the curriculum and utilized the program to keep a target on the reading/writing portion. They were rewarded for each step of the way, while reflecting on the material and how it can still apply to today.

What’s one of your favorite things about Classcraft?

Banks: Accountability. Students pay attention to late work, class policies, team effort, and freedom to work at their own learning pace.

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