Using video games to teach story elements/analysis

I’m currently in the middle of a unit with my 8th graders teaching story elements and analysis, with a focus on theme. So many of my students struggle with the motivation to read stories simply for the joy of reading. I do my best to make the stories we do read engaging stories that have relevance for their lives. (For example, we acted out the lottery with only the Hutchinson family in on the deal.) However, for my struggling readers, seeing the big picture of why knowing story elements and being able to analyze their structure is still a grind. So, I’m going to insert something that I hope will increase their interest and understanding of why story elements play an important role in their lives.

So, this week we will be playing some video games and will be analyzing their story elements as well as evaluating that story. When finished with their analysis, students will be writing a game review on a Google Slide. I’ll then be tweeting these reviews from my teacher Twitter account. I’m also hoping a few gamer students know of a website where users can post game reviews themselves. That way I don’t have to tweet 80 different slides.

By the way, all of these games are playable on Chromebooks.

Here are the materials if you’re interested:

  • List of online games with good stories
  • Game analysis sheet: analyze for story elements
  • Game review template

Author: karinhogen

I teach middle school language arts and run an Edtech company, DocentEDU, on the side. Every day is an adventure in my classroom with technology!

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