Myst V – the beginning of our adventure
I have been reading all about Mark Warner’s uses of Myst in the classroom over the past couple of weeks and I just had to buy a copy of the game and find out what all the fuss was about. As soon as I installed it and started to play I immediately saw why it has been given such a positive response by many teachers as an inspirational teaching and learning tool.
Over the next 6 weeks I will provide a daily account of how I have used the game with my class, what skills they have developed from using it, the lessons I have taught and the work they have done so that you too might just decide to take the plunge and try it with your own class.
I decided to play the initial part of the game ‘blind’ with my class as I wanted to experience the same sense of wonder and excitement exploring it for the first time as they would. However, I had asked the class to bring in a diary to use over the next 6 weeks for the literacy work as I knew the game would be a source for a lot of creative writing ideas.
We began the game apparently trapped in some underground room and the atmosphere and tension we felt as we explored a way out produced a wonderful speaking and listening activity. I stopped the game to the annoyance of the entire class who had been completely engrossed in it up to that point, and I asked them simply what there initial thoughts were about the game. Their answers were fantastic as my class are all second language children and the vocabulary they used was surprising and thoughtful. They wrote these initial thoughts into their diaries (I will use Wordle in the coming lessons to produce a word cloud for display work) and we progressed further into the game. We were introduced to our first two characters ‘Yeesha’ and ‘Esher’ and again this triggered off much discussion and questioning.
Although we are only at the very beginning of the game, my class are absorbed in it already and I can’t blame them as it is truly amazing. The level of questioning and the responses they give back is wonderful. Their writing will be a focus over the coming lessons and I am looking forward to exploring it and the game with them.
Unfortunately I now have to play the game on my own so I can prepare activities to be used throughout the next few weeks as we delve deeper into it, but I can safely say that I will enjoy every moment of it.