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How to use Interactive Fiction for Math, History, and MORE!

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

Interactive fiction is a unique and engaging form of literature that has the potential to enhance learning in a variety of subject areas. By allowing readers to interact with the story and make choices that affect the outcome, interactive fiction can improve reading comprehension, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, the interactive nature of the story can promote creativity and imagination, making it an ideal tool for teaching a wide range of subjects, including history, science, and math.


One way to incorporate interactive fiction into the classroom is by using it as a tool for teaching history. Interactive fiction can be used to bring historical events and figures to life in a way that traditional textbooks cannot. For example, an interactive fiction story set during the American Revolution can allow students to experience the events of the time period and make decisions as a character, helping them to better understand and remember the content.





Additionally, interactive fiction can be used to teach science by simulating real-world scenarios and allowing students to make decisions and solve problems. For example, an interactive fiction story set on a space mission can be used to teach students about physics and the challenges of space travel. By making the material interactive and engaging, students are more likely to be motivated to learn and retain the information.


Furthermore, interactive fiction can be used to teach math by incorporating mathematical concepts into the story. For example, an interactive fiction story set in a city planning scenario can be used to teach geometry and problem-solving. Additionally, interactive fiction can be used to teach coding and programming skills. By allowing students to create their own interactive stories and make decisions, they learn important coding concepts in a fun and engaging way.





Interactive fiction also offers the opportunity for cross-curricular learning, where students can apply what they learn in one subject area to another. For example, a story set in a historical context can also be used to teach science, math, and language arts.


However, it's important to note that incorporating interactive fiction into different subject areas does require preparation and planning. Teachers should carefully choose the interactive fiction story that aligns with the educational goals and the curriculum content. Additionally, teachers should provide guidance and support to help students understand and interpret the story.





In conclusion, interactive fiction is a powerful tool for teaching a wide range of subjects, including history, science, and math. By making learning interactive and engaging, interactive fiction can improve reading comprehension, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, it can promote creativity and imagination, making it an ideal tool for teaching a wide range of subjects. Teachers should carefully choose the interactive fiction story that aligns with the educational goals and the curriculum content, and provide guidance and support to help students understand and interpret the story.


Another way to use interactive fiction is to create a Wovel. Victoria Blake, formerly of Dark Horse Comics, has set up an innovative and interactive way to present fiction over the web. Installments of stories come out each Monday, and at the end of each installment there is an opportunity to vote for what will happen next. This is not only fun but is perfect for the folks out there who have ever read a book and asked themselves, “Why did the main character go there? I would have done this instead.” Also, each "episode" ends with a cliffhanger, but the choice and fate of the plot is up to the reader's vote, and not predetermined by the author.


References:


National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. Retrieved from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/nrp/Pages/default.aspx


International Reading Association. (2010). Game-based learning in the reading classroom. Reading Today, 27(6), 18-19.


Gee, J. P. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


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