Inspiring reading and writing in young people can sometimes be a challenge, but utilising popular media and technology often has a big impact on pupil engagement in this area.
The rather fab text-based adventure game Lifeline was just named Apple’s App of the Week. To tie in with this, it is now available to download for free for the first time since it launched in April last year.
Do you remember those stories and games you’d play as a child where you would walk a character through a game helping them to make choices? I used to love “Boggit” as a child – a fun alternative version to the Hobbit with its main character of ‘Bimbo’ (that name might not make it into an actual game these days!).
Lifeline, with an 9+ rating for “Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes” (so be mindful of this with the year groups you choose to use this with) is a similar kind of game in that it is a text-based game that asks players to make life or death decisions to help navigate the chief protagonist ‘Taylor’ through the story. Written by Dave Justus, the story walks you through Taylor’s journey following his crash landing on the moon of an alien planet.
As time progresses and you have given Taylor instructions to complete different tasks (for example ‘check the crash’ or ‘head for the peak’) you are intermittently told via these messages of Taylor’s progress.
The opportunities for reading and particularly engaging reluctant readers in reading in a fun and relevant way here are obvious. The descriptive language given in the text to readers as they play the game and level of language used is good too which can spark conversation, opportunities for discussion about the quality of written language and to give children to write their own pieces of creative writing thinking about what is going to happen next; writing in the style of the story or in their own style.
Any way – as it had gone free I thought it worthwhile to share and the obvious links to reading and writing, I thought I’d share.
If you like this idea and would like to hear about more ideas to raise standards in English through film and digital literacy, why not join me with Rob Smith aka @redgierob / @literacyshed in our day together in Nottingham, Friday 20 May 2016. More information here.
Over and out.