Looking for a short lesson to help students practice the problem-solving skills needed to save our closest living relatives AND change the world? After tackling Classcraft’s Quest of the Month, your learners will be on their way to becoming the compassionate eco-heroes you know they can be!
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 February, a month of kindness and compassion, we’ve selected “How To Save a Baby Orangutan,” designed by teacher Stephanie Goggin (IG: Stephanie.joyy).
Geared for grades 4-10, this quest uses multimedia formats to teach students about these highly intelligent, gentle, and endangered great apes. Students will have fun, get creative, and, most importantly, learn a lot about orangutans and their capacity to help them, as they use the embedded videos, gifs, short nonfiction article, and poem included in the quest.
This short quest requires students to submit written responses in the task and should take about 30-45 minutes to complete. It even includes a bonus level for students who swing through their assignments. 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.
Let’s get to know this savvy Gamemaster. Take it away, Stephanie!
What are your teaching stats?
Stephanie: This is my fourth year teaching. I currently teach Grade 5 English Language Arts at Cowan Elementary School, in Muncie, Indiana.
What inspires you?
Stephanie: Watching my students get excited about their own learning journeys inspires me! I love seeing them realize they can explore whatever they’re passionate about and push themselves to reach their own life goals.
What made you decide to use Classcraft?
Stephanie: One of my team teachers and I wanted a new and more engaging way to make independent reading a fun part of our classroom culture. We wanted something where the kids could “level-up” like in a video game and reward them in a tangible way.
When we found Classcraft, it was the perfect fit! The quests make their personal reading journeys something they get excited about now.
Your favorite things about Classcraft are …
Stephanie: Getting to start each class with Riders of Vay and Wheel of Destiny to keep things exciting is SO fun! I love that about Classcraft. The students’ ability to personalize their character and be part of a team is also a huge reason I love it. And, of course, the quests are amazing! I try to do a quest every Friday to review what we’re learning, and my kids look forward to it each week.
Why do you love the quest you created?
Stephanie: The orangutan quest is a fun one because it incorporates very important Language Arts skills in a way that makes the kids not even realize they’re doing a fairly difficult assessment. Just adding something as simple as funny gifs and videos of orangutans makes the entire learning quest come alive to them in a visible way — where a basic worksheet can never compare.
I also love that this quest accomplishes so many important standards in one place: listening skills, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and writing skills. It’s a holistic lesson that allows students to move at their own pace through fairly rigorous standards in a very fun way.
What did your students think of your quest? How did they react?
Stephanie: This quest was a hit with my kids right away! Getting to watch videos and see funny animal gifs grabbed their attention immediately and made them excited to read the articles, poem, and watch the video. They couldn’t get enough of the live stream at the end that showed the San Diego Zoo’s orangutan exhibit in real-time.
They also loved the bonus level at the end that took the lesson a step farther for my early-finishers and high ability students. It felt like a fun reward for them for finishing the quest, and it let them watch more amazing videos from Great Big Story about endangered animals.
What is one of your hidden talents?
Stephanie: I am also a ballet teacher at a local dance academy, and I love it! I get to share one of my passions with a new generation of amazingly talented dancers and help to shape their technique and love for movement.
How do you use technology to make teaching easier?
Stephanie: Technology is so integral in my classroom. It’s like the water we swim in (if we were fish) in my room. I love using videos to get their attention before reading a book or article; we use Google Earth a lot to go to the settings of the books we’re reading and walk around in the characters’ shoes for a bit.
If you could take your students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Stephanie: We read the amazing book “The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963” in my class, and spend a lot of time studying the Civil Rights Movement. I would LOVE to take them to Birmingham to the 16th Street Baptist Church and the memorial park next to it so that the event could become more alive to them.
Which Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?
Stephanie: Ravenclaw for sure; the ones who are never in trouble, but never the real heroes either. They’re just there: studying hard, being nerds, acing their tests, and staying out of trouble. That would be me.