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Windborne as a 7th Grade Writing Tool 1

Lakin Jones

Windborne as a 7th Grade Writing Tool


Written by
Lakin Jones
National University EDT 616
March 19, 2014

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Windborne as a 7th Grade Writing Tool 2

Table of Contents
Teaching Guide Overview....................................................................................3
Windborne Description.................................................................................................4
Windborne in the Classroom........................................................................................5
The Advantages of Teaching with Games....................................................................5
Grade Level Standards................................................................................................7
Learning Objectives......................................................................................................9
Where the Game fits into the Curriculum......................................................................9
What Teachers Need to Know Before Beginning........................................................10
Hardware Requirements............................................................................................10

Lessons Overview..............................................................................................11
Lesson One................................................................................................................ 13
Lesson One Learning Objectives......................................................................................... 13
Lesson One Setup............................................................................................................... 14
Lesson One Activity/Gameplay............................................................................................ 14
Lesson One Follow-up/Debriefing........................................................................................ 15
Lesson One Extensions....................................................................................................... 16

Lesson Two................................................................................................................ 17
Lesson Two Learning Objectives......................................................................................... 17
Lesson Two Setup............................................................................................................... 17
Lesson Two Follow-up/Debriefing........................................................................................ 19
Lesson Two Extensions....................................................................................................... 20

References...........................................................................................................21
About the Author (optional)...................................................................................24
Appendices..........................................................................................................25

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Teaching Guide Overview


How do students learn? This is a big question these days with so many new
technological tools. Students learn differently than they use to, so now teachers have to
know what tools to use to ensure that students are learning. But, who would have ever
thought of video/computer games as learning tools? The thought had never crossed my
mind, but as a new educator, I want to connect with my students in a way that helps them
to achieve knowledge. With technology being a common component of students
everyday lives, I have forced myself to take a chance and incorporate an appropriate
video/computer game into the
classroom. Inspiring creativity
has been taken to a whole new
level with Windborne.
This teaching guide is
designed for your seventh grade
writing class. It is a way to excite and engage students in their creativity of narrative
writing and persuasive writing as aligned with Virginia State Standards. Windborne is not
an educational game, however, this guide will illustrate features of the game that inspire
students to imagine a whole new world, while focusing on putting that image on paper.
Students will practice persuasive writing by studying the games advertisements.
Furthermore, students are sharpening their problem-solving and thinking skills through
the challenges presented throughout the game.

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Windborne Description
The Windborne website offers a good description of the overall game:
Windborne brings social sandbox creation games to the next level. Explore
a vibrant world filled with secrets to unlock and treasures to find, craft
personalized furnishings and innovative artifacts, and befriend intriguing
Jin to help build a new civilization. Will you seek out the clues and
artifacts of the ancients, or just loot passing islands for minerals and rare
plants? Bring along your friends while you play, and share your creations
with the world. Where will the wind take you?
Genre: First person Adventure, RPG, Simulation
Platform: PC, Windows Vista (SP2 Required),
Windows 7, Windows 8.0, Windows 8.1
Windborne was published by Hidden Path
Entertainment in 2014 and is a very inviting and calm
natured game. It offers a three-dimensional world that
you can craft and build into whatever you want. There are no time constraints as you
work to explore and gather minerals and resources to build with and craft anything you
want. It teaches you how to make numerous items through the combination of materials
and challenges. Explore various islands that each offer something different and new. You
can choose to help the Jin by building and defending their civilization. Windborne also
offers the ability to play with others. You can visit your friends islands as they float by
and trade items. Ultimately, you work to build your own little town on your island.

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Windborne in the Classroom


Using Windborne in the classroom allows the teacher to initiate the creativity of
students writing. The key is to use the game as a facilitator to inspire students to start
thinking in a different and more creative way to write a narrative. Windborne is a way to
connect with the students in a language that most are already fluent in, video games.
Many topics can be used for a writing prompt within the game. While the game inspires
creativity, it can also be used to practice persuasive writing. Students can study the
advertisement of the game and how it relates to how it made them feel about playing the
game. They can analyze how the ad is persuasive and use those skills to write their own
persuasive essay. It could also be
used in a math and possibly a
science class. For younger
students, determining how many
materials are still needed to make
other materials would exercise
their subtraction and addition skills. Windborne includes many resources that are used to
make materials we use every day. Students can learn what materials are combined to
make other materials. There are so many ways that Windborne could be used in the
classroom for writing and other subjects.
The Advantages of Teaching with Games
The way students learn has changed. Students are now 21st Century Learners and
learn through sharpening their higher level thinking skills. This is done by engaging
students in the classroom and having student involvement and hands-on activities.

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Educators have the ability to create enriching and engaging environments by integrating
technology into the classroom. Technology has become the normal thing for students to
know growing up now days. It offers so many resources that teachers can use to connect
and engage students back into learning. Technology has opened up many ways for
students to sharpen their 21st Century Skills of communication, collaboration, creativity,
and critical thinking.
Video games allow students to sharpen many skills they already acquire such as
memory strategies, reasoning, and even creativity. Games can be used for motivation
when used in learning (Dupla & Shirmohammadi, 2010). With that being said, games
engage the mind of students and keep them focused on a task or goal to meet. It opens up
their mind to think critically, creatively, and learn memory strategies to overcome certain
obstacles. This is done by having students actively involved, in control, and by involving
animation (Dupla & Shirmohammadi, 2010). Hostetter (2006) points out that students
use graphics to learn first rather than using text now days. Because students are so fluent
in the language of video games, the way they learn has changed from using text first and
graphics as add-on features to getting clues from the graphics of video games first and
using text for more information on the graphics (Hostetter, 2006). Another advantage is
that many video games allow students to connect with others through online gaming or
multi-player games. When doing this, they are able to work together and collaborate to
achieve the goals of the games. All of the skills that are trying to be achieved can be met
by playing video games if the right games are used in the right way.
When focusing on the writing curriculum, video games offer unlimited
possibilities to inspire students creativity. It motivates them and allows them to escape to

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different worlds. This is what sparks the imagination for student writing. As Hostetters
(2006) statement of Prenskys observation, Fantasy is a part of the real world to the
game generation. They love being a part of it Game generations should have plenty to
write about since they love playing games in the fantasy world.
Grade Level Standards
This Guide is based on Virginia State Standards. It will focus on the standards of
communication and writing, while including some technology skills.
STANDARD: COMMUNICATION: SPEAKING, LISTENING, MEDIA LITERACY
7.1 The student will participate in and contribute to conversations, group discussions, and
oral presentations.
a) Communicate ideas and information orally in an organized and succinct
manner.
7.3 The student will understand the elements of media literacy.
a) Identify persuasive/informative techniques used in nonprint media including
television, radio, video, and Internet.
STANDARD: WRITING
7.7 The student will write in a variety of forms with an emphasis on exposition, narration,
and persuasion.
a) Identify intended audience.
b) Use a variety of prewriting strategies including graphic organizers to generate

and organize ideas.


c) Organize writing structure to fit mode or topic.

d) Establish a central idea and organization.

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e) Compose a topic sentence or thesis statement.


f) Write multiparagraph compositions with unity elaborating the central idea.
g) Select vocabulary and information to enhance the central idea, tone, and voice.
i) Use clauses and phrases for sentence variety.
j) Revise sentences for clarity of content including specific vocabulary and
information.
k) Use computer technology to plan, draft, revise, edit, and publish writing.
7.8 The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation,
spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphing.
a) Use a variety of graphic organizers, including sentence diagrams, to analyze

and improve sentence formation and paragraph structure.


b) Choose appropriate adjectives and adverbs to enhance writing.
c) Use pronoun - antecedent agreement to include indefinite pronouns.
d) Use subject - verb agreement with intervening phrases and clauses.

e) Edit for verb tense consistency and point of view.


f) Demonstrate understanding of sentence formation by identifying the eight parts
of speech and their functions in sentences.
g) Use quotation marks with dialogue.
h) Use correct spelling for commonly used words.

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Learning Objectives
Throughout these two lessons, students will:

Demonstrate their knowledge of persuasive and narrative writing techniques to


understand how to implement these techniques in writing by creating a persuasive
essay and a narrative short story.

Assess and critique each others essays to gain different perspectives by peer
reviewing in groups of three or four with 100% participation in editing.

Use technology to plan and write both the persuasive and narrative essays by
demonstrating the understanding of how to use the technological tools of the
game and a Word document.

Where the Game fits into the Curriculum


Windborne is designed to fit into the curriculum as a learning tool that enhances
student creativity in writing. Both lessons should be used toward the end of a persuasive
writing unit and a narrative writing unit. Students need to have studied different types of
persuasive writing and understand the terminology, such as voice, tone, and mood, used
to write persuasively. Students should have knowledge of the critical elements of

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narrative short stories including setting, characterization, conflict, plot, and theme. The
game offers strategies for the students to practice writing persuasively (using the game
advertisement as an example). Windborne exercises the students creativity for writing a
short story (based on the setting of the game), while exercising other skills of the writing
process including brainstorming, organization, and revising and editing.

What Teachers Need to Know Before Beginning


Before implementing Windborne into your classroom, you should take some time
to familiarize yourself with the game and how it works. You can find the control keys in
Appendix A. Also, this Youtube link has several tutorial videos on different features
available in the game. You can take a look at those so you can understand what all the
game has to offer. The Windborne official site offers good information on the game too.
You can find images and videos about the game here. The main thing is to know the
controls and how to explore the island so if students have any questions, you will have an
answer and they can continue exploring.
Hardware Requirements
This plan is based on the assumption that the school has a computer lab or mobile
computer lab where laptops can be brought into the classroom for students. The
hardware, such as headphones, computers, etc, should be up-to-date for use. If not the
following obtained from the Windborne official website are requirements:
Minimum:
OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7 (SP2 Required) , Windows 8.0, Windows 8.1
Processor: Dual core CPU 2.0Ghz or faster

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Memory: 3 GB RAM
Graphics: Video: Video: DirectX 10 video card with shader 4 support and Passmark
Video Benchmark of 160 or above such as the following: ATI Radeon HD3650 or better
(HD3650-HD8000, RX200-RX300+) (Radeon HD 4200 and HD 4250 not included)
NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or newer (8800, 9600-9800, or 100-700+) (GeForce 8600M not
included) Intel HD Graphics 2500 or higher
DirectX: Version 10
Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Additional Notes: Windborne requires a multi-core processor and at least 3 GB of RAM
on your computer to run. Windborne relies on a DirectX 10.0 or later graphics engine
which means it runs on Windows Vista, Win7, Win8, and Win8.1. Windborne will not run
on Windows XP.
****Very Important**** Windborne requires Steam to run.
The ideal number of computers required would be one for every student (usually between
15-25, depending on class size). This assignment can be done in pairs if this many
computers is not possible, so only half as many computers would be needed.
Lessons Overview
Lesson one will be included at the end of a persuasive writing unit. In lesson one,
students will be introduced to Windborne by watching an advertisement to the game.
After a discussion, students will get a chance to briefly play the game. They will be given
the prompt of picking their favorite video or computer game (it can be a real or imaginary
game), and asked to write a persuasive essay on why somebody should buy/play this
game. Students will then work in groups for peer editing of their essays.

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Lesson two will be included at the end of a narrative writing unit. In the second
lesson, students will be able to play the game a little more (or introduced) and focus on
the details. The students will be given the prompt of writing a story within the setting of
the game as a narrative short story. They are only to use the setting of the game and create
the rest of the story including the characters, plot, and conflict. Students will then work in
groups for peer editing of their essays.
These lessons would more than likely be done at separate times, but taught in the
same manner as a practicing lesson on what students have learned through persuasive and
narrative writing units. Students will be playing the game individually in each lesson,
assuming that enough computers are available. If not, students can partner up and take
turns playing the game.
Obviously, teachers should spend as much time as possible playing the game
before integrating it into the instruction. With not having a manual to the game, teachers
need to get a good sense of what the game has to offer the students and how to navigate
it. Teachers will need to give students the hand-out of the game controls (found in
Appendix A). This should be done for both lessons because the lessons will not be done
back to back, so students will need to be refreshed on the controls.
The teacher will be a facilitator in both the lessons. You will present the game by
the advertisement in the first lesson and reintroduce the students to the game for the
second lesson. For small class discussions on the topics, you will again be the facilitator
by starting the discussion and then keeping it on track. You will oversee that the students
are staying on topic through individual and group activities. Students will play the game
at their own pace, while having you there for assistance, if needed.

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Lesson One
Depending on which unit you cover first, students will either be introduced or
reintroduced to the game by watching the advertisement. Students will learn how the
game is going to be used to meet the purpose of the unit, and how it relates to the writing
content they have already covered in the persuasive writing unit. Once they gain
experience with the game, students will practice writing persuasively with a topic relating
to the game. This lesson will last between four to five days with a one hour class period
each day.

Lesson One Learning Objectives


Throughout this lesson, students will:

Analyze a media advertisement of Windborne to gain a 100%


understanding of persuasive writing elements by determining what
elements are used to make it persuasive.

Practice the writing process of planning, drafting, reviewing, editing, and


publishing by writing a persuasive essay and peer reviewing with 100%
participation and 100% correctly using each step of the process.

Use three technology tools to plan and write the persuasive essay by
demonstrating 100% understanding of how to use the technological tools
of the game, a Word document, and online graphic organizer.

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Lesson One Setup


Students should have learned about all the different elements of what
makes something persuasive before beginning this lesson. To begin this lesson,
the teacher should engage the students by continuing to look at another example
of persuasive writing with the advertisement of Windborne (other examples
should have been explored prior to the lesson). After watching the ad, the teacher
will start a class discussion about the elements of persuasive writing they have
covered prior weeks (should only take about 10-15 minutes).
This is where the teacher explains to students that the game is going to be
used as a learning tool. Explain that
the students will be playing the game
briefly to see how the ad relates to the
game play.
Lesson One Activity/Gameplay
Give out and go over (whether this is the first or second time playing the
game) the control handout sheet (Appendix A) so students will have reference to
play the game before going to the computer lab or handing out laptops (if done in
the classroom). Once students have access to computers that have the game
downloaded, they will then start to play, explore, and see how the advertisement
persuaded them to want to play the game. Game play should be about 20-30
minutes, just enough so the students get an idea of how the game works. Make
sure to remind students to be thinking about what elements of the advertisement

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persuaded them to want to play the game. The teacher will watch the students
activity and be there if they have any questions.
Lesson One Follow-up/Debriefing
DAY 1 : After playing the game (have students stay at computers), have a
short discussion on how the ad persuaded students to want to play the game. Be
sure students acknowledge what elements were used effectively. Explain to
students that they are now going to be writing a persuasive essay on their favorite
video/computer game. Make sure that students know they need to have quite a bit
of experience in the game they pick so they have good arguments. If students
dont have a favorite or do not play much, they can make up a game and persuade
people to play it. Tell students to think about how they felt during the commercial
and then during the game. Make sure they understand to talk about the whole
game (as they will see that the advertisement was much more than just the
beginning of the game). Direct them to this graphic organizer online. Students
will begin brainstorming for their essay. Whether students are done or not have
them print out the organizer at the end of class to have for the next day.
DAY 2: Teacher will remind students of the assignment, and students can
now finish their organizers by pencil (if were not able to finish on prior day) and
begin the first draft of their paper. Teacher is there to answer any questions. Draft
should be finished today, so if it is not finished in class it will be homework.
DAY 3: Teacher will explain that students will be peer reviewing today.
Remind students of the characteristics of persuasive writing. Discuss the
difference between vague and specific feedback, using Sample Peer-Review

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Comments on the Smartboard or handouts. Answer any student questions before


having students break into groups of three to four each. Students will receive the
Peer Review Checklist to fill out (Appendix B). In their groups, members take
turns reading the drafts of each other. Members react to the piece by writing
comments on the Peer Review Checklist form. Next, group members share their
reactions with the writer in order to initiate discussion. At the end of this
discussion, the Peer Review Checklist forms are given to the writer for use during
revision. Group members repeat this process until all members' drafts have been
shared. Students are to make corrections or changes to their essay at the end of
class or for homework.
Day 4: Explain the basics of APA style (if not covered before) including title
page, running head, and reference page. Students will go back to the computer lab
or have the laptops in the classroom. Using Word, they will type up their final
essay. They will use formatting of APA style, and print when finished.
Lesson One Extensions
Students could take their essays and make them into a picture ad. Using
Kerpoof Studio, they can draw a picture to relate to the game and pick the most
persuasive argument to put on the image. Once doing this, students can post to the
class blog (if one is available) so that their peers and family can see/comment on
their work.

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Lesson Two
Depending on which unit you cover first, students will either be introduced or
reintroduced to the game. Students will learn how the game is going to be used to meet
the purpose of the unit, and how it relates to the writing content they have already
covered in the narrative writing unit. Once they gain experience with the game, students
will practice writing a narrative with a topic relating to the game. This lesson will last
between four to five days with a one hour class period each day.
Lesson Two Learning Objectives
Throughout this lesson, students will:

Illustrate understanding of the narrative writing elements of dialogue,


characters, plot, theme, setting, conflict, voice, and tone by writing a
multi-paragraph narrative short story based on the setting of Windborne
with 100% accuracy of using the elements.

Practice the writing process of planning, drafting, reviewing, editing, and


publishing by writing a narrative short story and peer reviewing with
100% participation and 100% correctly using each step of the process.

Use two technology tools to plan and write the narrative short story by
demonstrating 100% understanding of how to use the technological tools
of the game and a Word document.

Lesson Two Setup


To begin this lesson, the teacher should engage students in a class
discussion about all the elements of narrative writing (dialogue, characters, plot,

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theme, setting, conflict, voice, and tone) that they have covered in prior weeks,
should take about 10 minutes. This is where Windborne will be introduced (or
reintroduced) by reading the description given on the Windborne website:
WindborneExplore a vibrant world filled with secrets to unlock
and treasures to find, craft personalized furnishings and innovative
artifacts, and befriend intriguing Jin to help build a new civilization. Will
you seek out the clues and artifacts of the ancients, or just loot passing
islands for minerals and rare plants? Bring along your friends while you
play, and share your creations with the world. Where will the wind take
you?
Now that students are ready to go play, make sure they understand the game is
going to be used as a learning tool to spark their creativity for a narrative essay.
You can outline the rules of playing the game here, that they are expected to stay
on task and explore the game.

Lesson Two Activity/Gameplay


Be sure to give out the control handouts (Appendix A) and go over them
whether this is the first time or the second time of playing the game. Ask students
to bring a notebook to the computer lab or get a notebook out if done in the

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classroom. Once students are at a computer with the game downloaded, explain
the assignment. Explain that the students will be writing a narrative short story
based on the setting, and only the setting, of the game. They are to come up with
own characters, plot, dialogue, etc. So, as they play the game, students need to
take notes about the setting and start thinking of a story they want to write based
on this setting. Now, let students start the game. The teacher is there for any
questions and make sure students stay on
the task of exploring the game and
taking notes on the setting.
Lesson Two Follow-up/Debriefing
DAY 1: After students have this period to play the game, make sure they
have taken detailed notes about the setting of the game. Remind students that they
will be writing a narrative short story based on the setting, and only the setting, of
the game. They are to come up with own characters, plot, dialogue, etc.
DAY 2: (If needed, more time can be spent playing the game this day. Just
push everything else back.) Hand out the graphic organizer found in Appendix C.
Students will work on the graphic organizer and get their ideas down. Once
finished, they will begin writing their first draft. If draft is not finished, this will
need to be done for homework.
DAY 3: Teacher will explain that students will be peer reviewing today.
Remind students of the characteristics of narrative writing. Discuss the difference
between vague and specific feedback, using Sample Peer-Review Comments on
the Smartboard or handouts. Answer any student questions before having students

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break into groups of three to four each. Students will receive the Narrative PQP
Peer Review to fill out (Appendix D). In their groups, members take turns reading
the drafts of each other. Members react to the piece by writing comments on the
Narrative PQP Peer Review form. Next, group members share their reactions with
the writer in order to initiate discussion. At the end of this discussion, the
Narrative PQP Peer Review forms are given to the writer for use during revision.
Group members repeat this process until all members' drafts have been shared.
Students are to make corrections or changes to their essay at the end of class or
for homework.
Day 4: Explain the basics of APA style (if not covered before) including title
page, running head, and reference page. Students will go back to the computer lab
or have the laptops in the classroom. Using Word, they will type up their final
essay. They will use formatting of APA style, and print when finished.
Lesson Two Extensions
Windborne has unlimited ways to spark creativity. Students could continue
to play the game at home and actually build their island and share with their
family. They could write different stories about the game, like creating a whole
world by imagining up different islands. Students could also post their essay to
the class blog (if one is available), that way they can share it with the whole class
and their family.

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References
Dupla, E. & Shirmohammadi, S. (2010). Video Games in the Classroom. What Works?
Research into Practice. Retrieved from
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/ww_video_game
s.pdf
Hostetter, O. (2006). Video Games The Necessity of Incorporating Video Games as part
of Constructivist Learning. Game Research. Retrieved from http://gameresearch.com/index.php/articles/video-games-the-necessity-of-incorporatingvideo-games-as-part-of-constructivist-learning/
Virginia Department of Education. (2010). English Standards of Learning. Retrieved
from
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/frameworks/english_framewks/2010/fram
ework_english_6-8.pdf

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Teacher Resources
Hidden Path Entertainment. [Tutorial Videos]. Retrieved from
http://www.youtube.com/user/hiddenpathentertain?feature=watch
This site offers many tutorial videos about different aspects of the game. It would
be a great site to visit for the teacher who is just starting the game and deciding
whether it would work in the classroom. The videos teach you how to do many
different aspects of the game such as controls, inventory, how to make materials,
etc. This is also where the advertisement video will be found.
Kerpoof. [Website]. Retrieved from http://www.kerpoof.com/
This site would be used for the extension activity of making an ad. It offers a great
way to incorporate more technology into the lesson. The site is where students can
create their persuasive ad for the game.
Persuasion Map. (2010). Readwritethink. Retrieved from
http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/persuasion_map/
This is the site that offers the Persuasive graphic organizer. It is a great way to
incorporate and challenge students technology skills. It is laid very simple and
straight forward, so students can use it easily to meet the purpose.
Self Peer Review Comments. [PDF]. Retrieved from
http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson122/sample_P
R_comments.pdf

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This PDF offers examples of good peer reviews and not so good reviews. It is
good to show students what is expected during the peer review sections and how
to extend of what they think. It can be used as a great reference.
Steam. (2014). [Software]. Retrieved from http://store.steampowered.com/
This is the system that is required to run Windborne. It offers many other games
that could be used in the classroom. Steam is a great resource to explore many
other games to integrate into the classroom.
Windborne. (2014). Hidden Path Entertainment. Retrieved from
http://www.hiddenpath.com/games/windborne/
This is the main site for Windborne. It offers details about the game, images from
the game, and videos. It is a great place to look at for the teacher when beginning
the game.

Lakin Jones

About the Author (optional)


Tell a little about yourself and your experience.

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Appendices
Appendix A

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Appendix B

Persuasive Essay Peer Review checklist

1.

Is there an intro/ hook?

2.

Is the topic clear?

3.

Can you identify if the writer is arguing FOR or AGAINST the topic?

4.

Is the thesis clear? (If so, underline it.)

5.

Are there 3 supporting arguments FOR or AGAINST the topic?

6.

Are each BODY paragraphs devoted to one reason?

7.

Do the body paragraphs have supporting detail?

8.

Do the paragraphs contain good reasons, facts, or examples that persuade?

9.

Is the word choice specific, concrete and interesting?

10. Are the sentences clear?


11. Is the overall organization of the argument effective?
12. Are the transitions between paragraphs smooth?
13. Are there any grammatical errors?
14. Are there any spelling errors?
15. Does the conclusion remind the reader of the position on the issue?
16. NO CONTRACTIONS!! (This is formal writing!!)

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Appendix C

Climax:

Name:
Date:
Resolution:

Theme:

Event 3:

Event 2:

Event 1:

Basic Situation (Main characters, problem, setting):

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Appendix D (This worksheet can also be found in the teaching resources as a PDF from
the read-write-think website).

Narrative PQP Peer-Review Form


Use this form to give feedback to the writer.
Writer's Name:

Your Name:

_______________________________________________________________
Focus
What parts of the writing help you know that it's a narrative? How can you tell that the
writing is telling a story?

What details does the writer include?

Praise Questions
What is good about the writing? What should not be changed? Why is it good?

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Question
As a reader, what do you not understand?

Polish
What specific suggestions for improvement can you make?