Teacher Guide: Story Mode for Quests
Last Updated: September 16, 2019
You’re about to embark on an epic quest for knowledge!
Challenge. Frustration. Success. Failure. As a teacher, you coach your students on how to navigate these many facets of the learning experience. It’s all part of nurturing a growth mindset and helping students develop the non-cognitive skills they need to succeed in life.
In other words, learning is a journey, and teachers are the Gamemasters helping students navigate the challenges along the way. In the story of the student experience, the problems they must solve and obstacles they face represent critical moments — new twists and turns that test their skills and resilience.
As human beings, we’re fascinated by story. From the books we read, like Harry Potter, to the games we play, like Fortnite, we look to storytelling not only for entertainment but also as a way to find knowledge, discover wisdom, and better understand ourselves and the world around us.
That’s why we’re proud to introduce Story Mode, a set of storylines for Classcraft Quests that makes it easy for educators to harness the power and cultural relevance of stories to motivate students and provide experiential SEL. Starting Fall 2019, Classcraft: Season 1 will deliver ready-made stories (complete with gorgeous illustrations and riveting animated videos) monthly as part of a larger, ongoing narrative you can use to keep students engaged and motivated all school year long.
This guide will show you how to use these stories alongside your existing lessons. If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll also learn how you can use the building blocks we provide in our new Story Guidebook to tell your own tales grounded in the Classcraft world.
Come join us on this exciting new adventure and discover how storytelling can make school relevant and meaningful for your students!
The Classcraft Storytelling Team
Using Story Mode in your classroom
To get started using Story Mode, import the first episode. Classcraft’s Story Mode is an ongoing narrative experience, which means you’ll want to start by playing Episode 1, then Episode 2, and so forth. Think of it like watching your favorite TV show. You’d start with the pilot and then watch the rest in order!
What do I need to do to get started?
Story Mode requires the use of Quests, Classcraft’s tool for personalized learning and differentiated and blended instruction. Read about the benefits here.
You must have a teacher account to play Story Mode. You can import current and future Story Mode episodes as they become available via our Season 1 download page.
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’?
A number of episodes make up a single “season” of Story Mode. Think of it like a television show: There are numerous episodes in a season, all of which tell an overarching, connected narrative.
An “episode” consists of a set of 2-3 quest stories or “story templates” that you import. Unlike a normal quest, story templates don’t contain any lesson content. That’s what makes them awesome! Classcraft provides ready-made stories for you, and you can add whatever lesson material that you like!
While Story Mode mainly consists of written stories, occasionally we’ll drop a fun animated video for you and your students to enjoy.
How do I introduce this to my students?
The best way to launch Story Mode in your classroom is to show your students the Season 1 trailer below!
How do I integrate my lessons with Story Mode?
You can integrate your lessons just like you would with any other quest — by adding curriculum content to each quest objective.
Feel free to create additional objectives as needed to work with your existing lesson plan. Remember, not every objective needs to have a piece of story (it’s completely optional). That said, you’re welcome to expand on the story provided.
If you do add objectives, we recommend arranging the objectives so any story content is distributed evenly throughout the quest. That way, the story serves as a motivational reward for students progressing all the way through the lesson.
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 explore and incorporate. Think of them as a springboard to help you imagine and create your own stories set in Classcraft’s world! You’ll even find “story ideas” across the various pages of the Guidebook to help get you and your students started with thinking up your own stories.
Keep in mind that stories don’t need to “match” your lesson content 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 publish quests containing Classcraft stories to the Quests Marketplace?
Yes! We encourage teachers to submit quests containing their own lesson content to the Marketplace for other teachers to discover and use. Feel free to incorporate stories and images from Story Mode, or add your own Classcraft-inspired stories!
Stay tuned — we’ll be introducing a special section of our Marketplace dedicated to Story Mode-aligned quests in the near future.
Story Mode as experiential social emotional learning
Classcraft’s Story Mode is uniquely designed to promote SEL values such as collaboration, empathy, and communication. These themes are already embedded in the stories, which means you don’t have to do anything extra. Your students will experience the benefits just by reading the stories!
That said, we also encourage teachers to read the stories aloud with their students. This is a great way to promote participation, build positive culture, and engage in thoughtful reflection together 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 also relates explicitly to CASEL’s five SEL core competencies. Keep an eye out in the coming months for more information and teaching materials you can use!
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 on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.