Tag Archives: teaching ideas

Pick Your Own Ending Story

  • Do you want a unique creative writing activity?
  • Do you have reluctant writers who need inspiration?
  • Do you need to integrate technology with language arts?

Forms is the answer! Whether you’re using Microsoft Forms or Google Forms, writing a pick your own ending story is a fun lesson that combines computer skills and the writing process in a way that’s sure to excite your students.

To start, students compose a scenario. They could win a prize, go on a trip, hear a noise, or any situation that intrigues a reader. Next, two choices are given for what might happen: choose the red prize box or the blue one, go to the zoo or the beach, or go to investigate or run away. Using Forms, students offer the options. Then they use the feedback option to tell the reader the consequences of their choice.

Sample:

My friend told me not to go.
I wanted to find out what was in the abandoned building at the end of the road. Everyone said it was haunted. I walked up to the front door. The lock was broken.

What do you do?

  • Push the door open and go inside.
  • Walk away quickly.
pick your own ending story

Use Forms to make a pick your own ending story.

How to Write a Pick Your Own Ending Story Using Forms

  1. Sign in to Google Drive, pick Google Forms, and in Settings, pick QUIZZES and select Make this a quiz. Remove the checkmarks for Missed questions, Correct answers, and Point values.
    OR
    Sign in to Office Online and pick a Forms quiz. In Settings, select Anyone with the link can respond. In the Options for Responses area, select Accept responses.
  2. Add a story title, such as An Unforgettable Day.
  3. In Form description, type the instructions such as Pick a story ending.
  4. Add a section to write the story action. Write the first sentence to grab the reader’s attention. For example, My boring day was about to change.
  5. In the Description, type the story using the first person, or “I” to place the reader in the story.
    • Where does the story take place?
    • Is there someone with the main character? Who?
    • What is happening?
    • What causes the character to make a choice?
    • For example: I was sitting on my porch doing nothing, when I saw a bright flash at the school. I jumped on my bike and rode to get a closer look. I could hear a buzzing sound.

  6. Design a multiple-choice question that gives the reader two choices. Replace Question with What do you do?
  7. Add two options. For example:
    • I grabbed my phone and called for help.
    • I walked towards the sound.
  8. Use feedback to write the story ending. For one answer, type an ending.
    For example: The police and I went inside the school. A science fair project in the gym was shaking. Diamonds were everywhere! A fifth grader had turned gravel into gems!
    For the other answer, type an ending.
    For example: I saw an alien standing beside a tiny ship. It had two heads with giant fangs. Oh no!
  9. Add a picture, theme, or heading to enhance the story.
  10. Preview the story and try both options. Then share it with your friends.

See a sample using Microsoft Forms.

See a sample using Google Forms.

pick your own ending story

Make a trivia quiz with TechnoTrivia for Google or Microsoft Forms.

This activity is from TechnoTrivia, available from TechnoKids for both Google Apps and Microsoft Online. Hook your students with a project that integrates technology into curriculum or just make a fun trivia quiz based on a personal interest. Order online and you will receive a Teacher Guide, Student Workbook, sample quizzes to stimulate creativity, assessment tools, parent letter, certificate, and flashcards.

Or browse TechnoKids online store to view other projects, sets, and packages.

Microsoft Forms TechnoTrivia Project! Just Released

microsoft forms technotrivia project

Great news! TechnoKids has just published a new version of TechnoTrivia for Microsoft Online users. Google Apps users have already been able to use this project to create fun quizzes but now it has been updated for Microsoft Forms as well.

As part of Office 365, Microsoft Forms is an online survey creator. Students and teachers can use it to make quizzes, polls, and surveys with automatic marking. They can write a variety of question types, include pictures and video, set a scoring system, generate an answer key with helpful feedback, and even export data to Excel to analyze the results.

TechnoTrivia is a great project to introduce these skills. Hook student interest as they make a fun trivia game to play with their friends. The topic may be integrated into curriculum subjects, such as Solar System Challenge or My Country Quiz. Or, it can be based on an area of personal interest – Prove You Are a John Lennon Fan or So You Think You Know Sports.

microsoft forms trivia project

Add pictures and a theme to enhance the trivia quiz.

Educational Value of Quiz Creation

Critical thinking skills

Today’s students are avid consumers of technology, but essential learning really takes place when they become creators of technology. Making up survey questions requires the ability to consider another’s background knowledge and interests. In TechnoTrivia, students are challenged to write thought provoking questions to test a player’s knowledge. When students see their peers’ responses, they analyze how to change their quiz to make it easier or more difficult.

Real world application

As students create a quiz and test it out on classmates, family, and friends they get immediate feedback. They can see how their new skills can have a practical purpose. Learning is much more likely to be enhanced if students can see its relevance and everyday applications.

Engage student interest

A quiz with odd, interesting, and/or silly facts is a fun task that appeals to anyone. Taking the role of a quizmaster, students are hooked into entertaining and testing others with a trivia quiz. The variety of questions – multiple choice, true/false, multiple answer, picture, video, and short answer make this project a sure hit with kids.

Consolidate learning

The process of creating quiz questions about a theme or school subject area helps to embed information. Quiz questions can identify learning gaps but also provide a firm foundation in reviewing and preserving critical concepts. The project has many suggestions on how to incorporate a quiz into curriculum. Math Drill and Practice, Who am I?, Art Crawl, Where in the World?, and Spelling Bee are just a few of the quiz integration ideas. See this blog for 20 great teaching ideas for using Forms to make quizzes.

Point of view

Looking at information from a different angle aids in understanding. Thinking about data from the perspective of questioning, students play the role of a teacher or assessor. They build analytical skills. By composing questions, students are much more likely to grasp, absorb, and retain important details. And generating challenging questions is sometimes harder than expected!

Build confidence

The emphasis in TechnoTrivia is not on the scores achieved by players but on creating a fun and entertaining quiz. Students practice rewriting questions to make just the right mix of difficulty – not too easy so that the player loses interest and not too difficult so that they might give up. They also add a range of feedback comments for the player to foster encouragement, to provide additional information, and to praise correct answers. Taking on the role of the quizmaster promotes self-assurance, pride, and responsibility.

microsoft forms technotrivia

The quiz can be shared using a variety of devices.

Microsoft Forms and TechnoTrivia

Get your students started right away in making their own wacky and informative quizzes. TechnoTrivia includes a Teacher Guide, Student Workbook, assessment tools, flashcards, handouts, and links to lots of sample quizzes.

Add a Video Using Google Sites

One sure way to make a website engaging for viewers is to add video content. When creating a page with Google Sites, you can almost seamlessly insert a video using YouTube. A huge and easily searchable website, YouTube is a great resource to find theme appropriate clips to share. Here are a few tips for inserting a video using Google Sites into a web page.

  1. Search YouTube FIRST
  2. video using google sites

    When creating a web page using Google Sites, under the Insert tab you’ll find the YouTube tool. You can click it to go directly to a window that allows you to enter keywords to search right in YouTube.

    But DON’T! The problem is that you’ll see lots of images of results but won’t be able to preview the actual videos.

    Instead, open a new tab in the browser and go to YouTube. THEN enter your keywords and browse through the results. When you find one, view the whole video to critically determine if it is what you’re looking for. Be sure not to post a video that you haven’t thoroughly previewed.

  3. Pick a Short Video
  4. With the proliferation of videos online, it takes a really compelling sample to hold the attention of your audience. Check the length of a video. Try to find a clip that is only a minute or two (or less!) long. Of course some topics require longer explanation, but be aware that your viewers may not watch the whole clip unless it is especially fascinating or unique.

    When you have found a video you like, copy the URL.

  5. NOW Search YouTube Using the URL
  6. Return to the browser tab that has your Google Sites web project. Now pick the YouTube tool under the Insert tab. In the dialog box that appears, instead of typing keywords, paste the URL you copied from YouTube.

    Paste the copied URL from YouTube into the search box

    Click Search. Your video will appear, click on it, and then click Select. That’s how easy it is to add a video using Google Sites.

  7. Format the Video
  8. You can now customize the clip:

    • Click Settings to choose:
      • how you want the controls to appear
      • the color of the progress bar
      • whether the viewer can see the video full screen in another browser tab or will watch it only on your web page
    • Drag the video to position it on the page.
    • Hover over the left side of the video to pick Section Background. Choose an option.

  9. Preview the Web Page
  10. Select the Preview tool and see what the video will look like when it’s published. Remember the nifty responsive design feature of Google Apps – click each of the three options: Phone, Tablet, or Large screen to view the layout on different devices. Now you can again preview the whole video clip if necessary.

    video using google sites

    Add a YouTube video to engage viewers in your website

    TechnoSite Web Design Project for Kids

    TechnoSite

    In TechnoSite students become web designers.

    All of these tips to add a video using Google Sites and much more are included in TechnoSite, a web design project designed specifically for teachers of elementary grades. Empower your students with STEM skills as they construct professional looking websites for any curriculum topic, area of interest, sport, or hobby. Everything you need is included: Teacher Guide, Student Workbook, Assessment Tools, Sample Websites, and more! Find out TechnoSite details, view samples, and see the project learning objectives here.

Sound Libraries Continued, Two More Free Resources

In a previous article, I listed 8 great free sound resources that students can use to download fun and engaging sounds to add to their stories, presentations, or other digital creations. Fortunately, there are new sound libraries posted regularly and here’s a couple we found that are appropriate for educational use. If you have others to recommend, please let us know.

BBC Sound Effects

  • search by suggested category, then narrow the search by a specific term, e.g., Animals – lion
  • all 16 000 sound effects are in WAV format
  • sounds are available for download under terms of BBC copyright but may be used for personal, educational, or research purposes
  • clear and easy preview with description and sound duration listed

BigSoundBank

  • search feature includes alternate suggested search terms to help find suitable results
  • all sounds are free and royalty-free
  • sounds are in a variety of formats: MP3, WAV, AIFF, and more
  • limited library of hundreds of sounds, but if no fitting sounds are found, other external sound websites are suggested
  • also included is a thorough listing of additional sound and music websites
  • sections of the site are in the creator’s native language French, but the library of sounds are listed in English

free sound libraries

Project-Based Lessons for Technology Integration

TechnoKids has projects in which students add sound or music to engage their audience and add interest.

In TechnoCode, students use Scratch to build games, puzzles, mazes, animations, stories, and more. They write scripts to add sound blocks that play audio clips, make them repeat, and combine sound with other actions.

In TechnoInternet, students learn about responsible digital citizenship. As they practice Internet safety, they also explore online radio stations and music services, search for sound clips, and bookmark sound libraries.

Sound Libraries Caution Note

Some sound collections may contain sounds inappropriate for school use. Discuss digital citizenship responsibilities with students before using these resources to confirm their understanding of suitable content.