Bring the magic of story to your lessons
Challenge. Frustration. Success. Failure. As a teacher, you help your students navigate many facets of the learning experience. It’s all part of helping them develop the skills they need for success.
Stories help us achieve the same goals. From the books we read (Harry Potter) to the games we play (Fortnite), we look to storytelling not only for entertainment but also as a way to better understand ourselves and the world around us. Storytelling even activates the brain to aid in learning, stimulating critical thinking and assisting with information recall.
But it can be hard to figure out how to use stories in the classroom — let alone find time to write your own.
Introducing Story Mode, a prewritten, ongoing storyline that enhances your lessons in Quests, Classcraft’s free tool for online or remote personalized learning. Each month this school year (2019-2020), Story Mode: Season 1 will deliver a new chapter in a continuous, illustrated storyline about the very characters that students play as in Classcraft: the Guardians, Mages, and Healers. Just add your lessons to the stories, and you’re set.
This guide will help you use Story Mode with your existing lessons to engage and motivate your students. If you’re feeling daring, you’ll also learn how you can use the building blocks we provide in our Story Guidebook to tell your own tales grounded in the Classcraft world. We’ll also discuss how Story Mode can be used to enhance SEL curriculum.
So come join us on an epic journey, and watch your students binge-learn their lessons as their appetite for story grows.
The Classcraft Storytelling Team
Using Story Mode in your classroom
What do I need to get started?
Story Mode requires the use of Quests and is free to access for all accounts. To get started, import the first quest of Episode 1. Story Mode is a continuous narrative experience, so you’ll want to experience each story in order, starting with Episode 1: Quest 1 — then E1Q2, and so forth.
Unlike regular quests, Story Mode doesn’t contain any lesson content — just narrative. That’s what makes it awesome! Classcraft provides ready-made stories for you, so all you have to do is drop in your lessons.
You can import additional Story Mode episodes as they become available via our Season 1 download page.
The video below is an excellent introduction to getting started with Quests and Story Mode:
If you need any help, our community managers are happy to assist you! You can access our Knowledge Center or chat with us Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm EST.
What do you mean by ‘season’ and ‘episode’?
Numerous episodes make up a single “season” (or school year’s worth) of Story Mode. Think of “episodes” like a bundle of content that releases each month during the school year. Each episode usually contains 2-3 prewritten quest stories that continue the overarching narrative.
How do I integrate my lessons with Story Mode?
You can integrate your lessons just like you would with any other quest you’d import — by adding a lesson activity to each existing objective. Feel free to create additional objectives if needed. Learn more about adding quest objectives in our Knowledge Center.
Not every objective needs to have story content (it’s completely optional). That said, you’re welcome to build on the story provided. If you do add more objectives, we recommend arranging the story content evenly throughout the quest. That way, the story serves as a motivational hook for students, encouraging them to progress to the end of the lesson.
Additionally, keep in mind that stories don’t need to match your subject matter unless you want them to. In other words, if you teach science, it’s OK if the stories aren’t about science in any way. Good storytelling is its own reward!
Can I modify or add on to the stories?
Absolutely! You’re welcome to modify the stories however you like or not at all. Don’t feel pressured, but also know you can have fun and make the stories your own.
Our Story Guidebook contains lots of story lore that you and your students can discover. Think of it as a springboard to help you imagine and create your own stories set in Classcraft’s world — or simply to dive deeper into the ones they already love. You’ll even find “story ideas” across the various pages to stoke your imagination.
How do I introduce Story Mode to my students?
The best way to launch Story Mode in your classroom is to show your students the Season 1 trailer below! This will get them excited to immerse themselves in the adventure.
Can I publish quests containing Classcraft stories to the Quests Marketplace?
Yes! We always encourage teachers to submit quests containing their lessons to the Marketplace for other teachers to use. You’re welcome to incorporate stories and illustrations from Story Mode, or create your own Classcraft-inspired stories.
Need help submitting quests to the Marketplace? See our guide.
Story Mode as experiential social emotional learning
Classcraft’s Story Mode enhances SEL curriculum and efforts by exploring topics such as collaboration, empathy, and communication. These themes are woven into the stories, so your students will experience the benefits just by reading!
That said, we encourage teachers to discuss the stories aloud with their students so they can enjoy the adventure together. This is a great way to increase participation, build positive culture, and engage in thoughtful reflection as a class.
Below are a few ways you can use these stories:
- Reading aloud in different formats (popcorn reading, teacher-led, read and discuss, role-play, etc.)
- For skill development (comprehension, vocabulary, etc.)
- As a transition between activities
- As a motivational reward for collective positive behavior or progress
- Build classroom culture through shared experience (mystery and wonder)
- Reflection on SEL themes and as a parallel to the learning journey
Story Mode relates explicitly to CASEL’s five SEL core competencies.
Go forth and explore new lands!
From all of us at Classcraft, we hope you delight in these new adventures as much as we do!
If you have questions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you and learn more about the experiences you’re having in your classroom. Reach out to [email protected] to share your thoughts, or tell us about your adventure by tagging @classcraftgame #ClasscraftUniverse on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.