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Middle school history of skateboarding lesson — April’s Quest of the Month

Corrinna PoleApril 16, 2021

Middle school history of skateboarding lesson — April’s Quest of the Month

Get your brain bucket (helmet) on, check your trucks (wheel bearings), and let’s stick this extreme sports lesson on skateboarding!

Each month at Classcraft, we choose one awesome teacher-created Quest — personalized, self-paced, choose-your-own-adventure lesson plans for students — to share with educators everywhere. Our Quest of the Month for April is “The X Games: All About Skateboarding” by teacher Olivia Coady. 

This lesson introduces students to the early history of skateboarding and involves research and response writing. Through articles, video, and online resources, they’ll explore construction, design, and get stoked to design their own skateboards digitally. Besides learning about how skateboarding began, they’ll also learn about some of today’s rad female skateboarders today (and some from the past) from around the world.

Although designed for Olivia’s grade 6 English Language Arts class, the unit is easily adaptable​ for physics, history, physical education, or social studies objectives from middle to high school. Or, as Oliva suggests, you can offer it as a side Quest for extra credit. 

Click this link to import this lesson for your class.

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 our free plug-and-play narrative experience, Story Mode.

Already teaching with Classcraft? Submit your Quests for consideration for the next Quest of the Month. 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 let’s meet this Quests’ gnarly creator. Take it away, Olivia! 

Teacher/Gamemaster Olivia Coady featured in a custom avatar
Teacher/Gamemaster Olivia Coady featured in a custom avatar

What are your teaching stats?

Olivia: I am currently in my eighth year of teaching and have been teaching grade 6 language arts for 3.5 years. I teach at Richmond Hill Montessori Private School in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

What inspires you?

Olivia: Inspiration comes from a variety of places for me: music, books, art, graphic design, etc. When it comes to creating, I usually go off something I don’t initially know a lot about and build from there. Lately, I’ve been most inspired by conversations with my incredible grade 6 students. We often have long talks about almost everything; they are so creative and insightful.  

What made you decide to use Classcraft? 

Olivia: After speaking to a former colleague about three years ago on gamification in education, I was introduced to Classcraft as a platform that combines the gaming environment with education, incentives, and teamwork. It seemed like a great way to unite my students, get to know them, and also work beyond the curriculum.

Your favorite things about Classcraft are …

Olivia: From the perspective of myself and my students, Boss Battles are certainly a favorite. This is a Friday activity for us and many students have taken the initiative of crafting their own Boss Battles on their favorite things. Modifying the powers and behaviors has been a huge source of engagement within the class as well. We also made a Classcraft store to work alongside additional powers not initially available in the game that students can purchase using XP, GP, HP, etc. 

There are many more things I love but lastly, I would have to identify the new skins, outfits, and pets. My students get so excited when they are adjusted based on holidays, in particular.

ELA lesson Quest: The X Games: All About Skateboarding
Quest: The X Games: All About Skateboarding

Why do you love the quest you created? 

Olivia: The origin of my quest was truly from the popularity of the sport within the grade I teach. I thought it would be interesting to learn about this sport that has truly had a rebirth of interest in society. I like how students can interact with the quest from historical, graphic design, culture, and societal perspectives. 

I would recommend this to a teacher of any subject, but especially for those who would like an out-of-the-box way to align physics, physical education, history, language, math objectives with something potentially new. This quest naturally parallels with modification — teachers can play with what they want students to get out of each objective. 

What did your students think of your quest?

Olivia: My students said they appreciated that the articles were not overwhelming and they didn’t have a massive read to find quotes. They also really enjoyed the design stage of the quest along with being able to see extremely talented female-identifying individuals rise in success as skateboarders. 

What are your “trapped on a desert island” books or movies?

Olivia: For books, I wouldn’t want to be without “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” by Tom Robbins and “It” by Stephen King, and my favorite movie is “Paper Moon.”

What is your first memory from school? 

Olivia: Oddly, one of the first memories I have from school is refusing, and I mean absolutely refusing, to write my name with a lowercase L. I would always spell my name OLivia simply because I liked the way it looked.

How do you think (or hope) students will remember you and your class?

Olivia: I think my students will remember some fun lessons and concepts, of course, but they will also remember the laughs, playing games together, silly moments, etc. 

I hope they remember a room and a class that made them feel loved, safe and heard. 

I hope they remember our meaningful conversations and beyond anything else, that they are brilliant above any grade they get, anything they win (or don’t), and past any stumble along the way. 

I hope they know they will always have someone on their team even after grade 6. 

I don’t think there are enough words or characters to express how proud they make me. They really are the best! 

Which Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?

Olivia: If I don’t answer this, I know my class would be mad (huge HP fans in 6A). That being said, we have done a Hogwarts house sorter and I ended up in Ravenclaw with Gryffindor coming in as a close second place.

Personalized Learning - Quest of the Month - Student Engagement