Everyone needs adventure once in a while. Even a quick trip outside your comfort zone can help stretch your horizons, reinvigorate, and provide challenges that help you grow. Plus, adventures don't need to be big and daunting. This week, we're sharing ideas for every day challenges, ways to look at story structures, and stories to pull you out of the every day and immerse you in a whole new world.
Fantastic journeys often involve epic treks through uncharted or dangerous territories. Use this as a tie in for making map skills and geography lessons more fun.
- Younger students will learn to observe more about their own surroundings when they map out the classroom, school, or playground.
- If you are listening to a story as a class, create a map of the setting as a way to encourage reading comprehension and collaboration.
- Older students can learn about how GPS devices work - try a school contained geo-caching adventure or ask students to "be a GPS" and write out directions for blindfolded partners. Outlining a path for another person can help students become more attuned to their surroundings and aware of their own assumptions.
Quest stories use a classic literary narrative style with five generally identifiable components:
- A quester: the protagonist who is undertaking the quest
- A stated goal: the initial reason the quest is undertaken
- A destination: the place to which the protagonist is traveling
- Challenges: obstacles the protagonist must overcome along the journey
- The "real" goal: usually unveiled or identifiable towards the end of the journey
Once you've presented and discussed these components with students, they can choose their own stories and identify each component as the story unfolds. Many stories, from ancient myths to classics to popular novels follow this structure.
Creative Writing Project: Compose collaborative quest stories. Think of this like literary Mad Libs.
- Choose some plot starters, either allow students to contribute or distribute selections that might work well together. You could collaboratively create a pool of character names, settings, challenges, and goals and use a randomizing website to make selections for some potentially silly fun stories!
- Once you've decided on the basic elements of the story, hand out cards identifying each of the components of a quest. Ask students to outline the basics of that section of the story. This work encourages them to get their thoughts out on paper and somewhat organized before diving directly into writing.
- Group students back together to discuss the bullet points they've written. Allow them to work together to incorporate the different ideas each brings to the story.
- After their collaboration, students can go back and work on their individual sections of the story.
This is a good project if you are interested in getting started with the Googlee Classroom tools! Use Sheets to collect story component ideas, Slides for students to fill out bullet points, and Docs to compose the story parts and mesh them together. Artists can use Drawings to provide illustrations and completed stories can be presented to the class with a new set of slides, or by providing expanded read-only access for others to read!
Real World Adventures
Stories about adventures through the world we live in are super invigorating. The points of reference to things we know, have seen, and maybe have also experienced draw readers in and inspire awe. In Biking Across America, Paul Stutzman recounts his 5,000 mile adventure. Listeners who've been on a bike, felt big changes in temperature, or any of the experiences he describes will find his story awe-inspiring and eye-opening. Death on the River of Doubt recounts the story of President Roosevelt's adventure down the Amazon River. While these may be more epic adventures than many of us will experience, hearing about them may inspire other ideas and adventures with amazing outcomes.
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