Are your middle schoolers ready to take on an epic quest to unearth life in the vast ancient Egyptian kingdom?
Each month at Classcraft, we choose one awesome teacher-created Quest — personalized, self-paced, choose-your-own-adventure lessons plans for students — to share with educators everywhere. Our Quest of the Month for February is Lauren Goldman’s (@laurentechbooks) “Adventure in Ancient Egypt”.
Designed for a middle school history or social studies class, this unit will give your students the opportunity to explore a variety of topics from architecture to government and religion. They’ll read texts, watch videos, and complete hands-on activities as they learn about monarchy, mummies, music, and mythology. While exploring the longest river in the world, the Nile, students will learn about the construction of pyramids and will be challenged to build their own using paper or cardboard.
In true choose-your-own-adventure style, this history unit gives students the option to take one path with a handful of objectives or explore the entire epic Quest. And you’ll enjoy the flexibility of using this lesson in the classroom OR while teaching remotely.
Click this link to import this teacher-made lesson into your game. You’ll have the option to link the Quest objectives to your existing Google Classroom assignments. Or you can leave the tasks as they are and adapt to your needs.
This Quest is part of a huge library of lessons created by teachers around the world for K-12 students. If you’re new to Classcraft, check out how Quests can supercharge your lesson plans. Whether you’re a Classcraft newbie or pro, are using a free account or Premium, everyone can level-up their Quests with the free plug-and-play narrative experience, Story Mode.
Already teaching with Classcraft? Submit your Quests for the next Quest of the Month here. 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. You could have your quest featured too and have your very own avatar created by our illustrators.
Now, meet the Gamemaster behind this epic Egyptian Quest. Take it away, Lauren!
What are your teaching stats?
Lauren: I have been teaching for almost seven years; four years as a high school librarian and am now in my third year as a middle school librarian in a different district. I went from teaching grades 9-12 to grades 6-8. I teach three classes a day in library (information literacy skills) blended with technology integration.
The Technology Integration Specialist part of the role is districtwide and involves the coaching and professional development aspects that now overlap more and more with Library Media Specialist responsibilities. We’re located in central New York in a small village called Canajoharie.
What inspires you?
Lauren: As a Librarian and Tech Integration Specialist, I draw inspiration from a passion for reading and a love of mythology and cultures. I read all genres and test all technology tools that may benefit my students. Their enthusiasm fuels my drive to be a better educator and tech leader.
Good writing inspires me as well, whether it’s from a favorite author or a surprisingly detailed piece from a young student. I am fascinated by the endless ways all the aspects of knowledge intersect as structures and patterns emerge across history, literature, science, and the arts.
What made you decide to use Classcraft?
Lauren: I decided to use Classcraft for a combination of reasons. First and foremost was the positive vibe of the characters evident in the graphics, storyline, and the way it interacts with the PBIS-based points system. Nothing beats beautiful artwork for enhancing engagement and the behaviors are directly tied to experiencing those visual upgrades.
Additionally, it is hard to find incentives that are not food or physical prizes. Classcraft draws on intrinsic motivation and that was very important to me when choosing a tool that aligned with our mission and values.
Lastly, the customization of lessons within the tool was a key component. Too often, I had seen other game-based learning platforms rely on lesser quality lesson imports. Classcraft allows teachers to use their own or share their lessons with others in the Marketplace through a careful check of quality control.
Your favorite things about Classcraft are …
Lauren: My favorite things about Classcraft are the mood of the overall Story Mode and how it’s emphasized by the richly colored graphic design. This draws students to the game-based tool and keeps their interest for many weeks in a continuous way that many initiatives do not.
Another favorite thing about Classcraft is the Quests and the way they provide branching paths and self-paced progress. This was a major factor in our renewed use of Classcraft as it has so much potential for differentiated learning and students with Special Needs.
Finally, I was impressed by the friendly professionalism of the Classcraft Support staff. There has never been a question that went unanswered or a problem that did not have a satisfactory resolution.
Why do you love the Quest you created?
Lauren: I love the Quest I created because it has so many possible paths and routes to reach the end. Students can take one shorter path with a handful of objectives if they are short on time or endurance, or they can show their mettle and go above and beyond by completing all the activities.
I would recommend it to another teacher because the Quest touches on multiple aspects of Egyptian mythology and culture, with mini-assessments that review multiple intelligences. There are tasks for drawing, reading for information, reading for leisure, hands-on building, listening and responding to music, and writing short responses using creative fiction as well as nonfiction.
What did your students think of your Quest? How did they react?
Lauren: My students have loved the Quest and surprised me because 99% of them chose to do all the activities even though they did not have to do so! I made the XP (Experience Points) and GP (Gold Points) values worth their time and effort. I have even had students ask to do it again or have another Quest of the same size and scope built for a different culture and mythology.
Their favorite activities so far have been the pyramid building and the decoding of hieroglyphics, closely followed by writing hypothetical Book of the Dead rituals and imagining what they would do if they were rulers of their own massive civilization.
What is one of your hidden talents?
Lauren: One of my lesser-known talents is that I like to sing, either with background music or acapella, and I have written five or six dozen songs across multiple genres. I used to call myself the Lyricist Librarian.
I have turned my writing talents to stories in the last decade or so, but I still love to sing. And when I have a Random Event that lets students pick a song for the Gamemaster to perform, I am told that I have a nice voice. High praise, from middle school students!
How do you use technology to make teaching easier?
Lauren: I use technology to make teaching easier by keeping current on collaborative edtech and spreading my learning to my colleagues, as well as my students. I can count on one hand the number of times I stand waiting for the copier because I utilize the full range of apps and extensions in the suite of tools we use as a district.
As I complete and review the modules for certification in this company’s platform that so many of us know and use, I share my learning. The more my colleagues feel they can come to me for help with technology and research, the easier my job becomes because the students we share are getting the best fruits of our collaborative efforts.
What weird trends in student culture (flossing) do you find baffling and why?
Lauren: I have yet to feel drawn to the trend in student culture that used to be Vine and is now TikTok. I understand the allure of short videos and social messaging capabilities, but I prefer GIFs and memes for amusement. And if I want to learn how to do a dance (Renegade used to be big) I would rather watch it on YouTube. As a student of dance from ages 4-18, I would not enjoy having to replay a 30-second video. Essentially, the baffling part to me is that there are better tools out there for the same purposes, but to each their own!
Which Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?
Lauren: If I went to Hogwarts and sat under the Sorting Hat, I would be whispering to it/myself that I wanted to be in Ravenclaw because of the cleverness and intelligence factor of that house.
But I believe ultimately the Hat would sort me into Gryffindor because there was ambition in me that I didn’t even recognize until I was in my later teens, and the Sorting Ceremony is all about wizard potential 🙂