Categories : Lesson Plan of the Week
StoriumEdu is a collaborative writing game which has students work together to create a cohesive narrative. Each student gets to write on their own turn, building upon what has already happened in the story. The catch is that the game uses cards - a form of writing prompts - to both give players ideas and guide the flow of the text. What's best about StoriumEdu is that it places no limits on your imagination: the setting can be anything, anywhere, and you can even design and write every single card in your story if you so desire.
Read on for a run-through of one of our lessons for the game, which makes writing narration fun!
Playing the Game
StoriumEdu is a game about writing, reading and creativity. Students have two distinct roles: narrator and player. Essentially, the narrator is like the director of a movie and the players are actors who improvise in every scene. The narrator chooses the setting, how each story begins and which challenges the player characters face. Unlike in most games, the characters are never in any real danger: just like a movie, you know the main characters will win - it's the journey that's important!
Each student has a collection of cards that are unique to them. Every time that it is their turn to write, one of these cards is used. Cards can depict equipment, traits or events: they act as writing prompts that help students drive the story forward. Negative cards (for example, "cowardice") can provide truly interesting results, and in some cases can even cause scenes to end badly or characters to perish!
This lesson takes a closer look at the world building aspect of narration. Many writers like to create their own settings, events and even completely fictional settings, but making it all believable can be very challenging. Not only does world-building require lots of text, but internal consistency and originality are also crucial factors.
With examples of existing fictional settings and methods for creative writing, this lesson is a good starting point for anyone wanting to be a narrator in-game or, better yet, write their novels or short stories. While world-building is not nearly as difficult as you might think, taking those first steps can seem daunting.
StoriumEdu and Your Classroom
StoriumEdu is an excellent addition to any English or creative writing class. It also provides a great opportunity to have fun and build classroom spirit: some narratives can go in truly bizarre directions if the students are so inclined. The true strength of the game is its versatility: since the subject matter and theme can be literally anything, it provides a way to contemplate such diverse topics as history, civics, philosophy and more. For any classroom that needs to spice up its writing lessons, StoriumEdu is the way to go.
StoriumEdu is available for educators as part of our TeacherGaming Desk subscription. Click here to find out more about the service!