CYOA: done with the story!

In my CYOA class, we collected everything on one big piece of butcher paper. Kids wrote whatever pieces were missing each day, rather than being in several groups and doing their own thing. Now we have to:
-expand on some of the stories
-edit everything (that’s big!)
-take the pictures.

Nathan, could you comment on what program you used for putting in hyperlinks? I’d really like to do it in Google docs, but I’d also like to set this up for ultimately publishing it as a “real” book, if we can just get the language tamped down a little bit.


9 responses to “CYOA: done with the story!

  1. Hi! You were wanting my games entry in my blog! Sorry about that! I think I was going to revise it and somehow it went to the draft section.

    Here’s the link:

    And have an enjoyable last few weeks with your students! 🙂

    -Jeremy Jordan


  2. I’ve always used Microsoft Word for the hyperlinks; you have to insert anchors and then it jumps around in the document. I would think that should work in Google Docs as well, but I’ve never tried that.

    The trick for printing out the book is that once the hyperlinks are set up, you can then randomize the pages so that people can’t read straight through. Randomizing pages doesn’t affect hyperlinks, so then you have to go through the document and click every hyperlink, writing down “Turn to page 34” or what not based on where the hyperlink landed you. It takes a bit of time doing this, but it’s not hard work once you get a routine established.


  3. Hello,

    I see this is an older post, but I’m seeking some guidance. I recently read an article in the Foreign Language Annals (by Ducate, Anderson, & Moreno) that described a Choose Your Own Adventure project that was created by students on a wiki. I want to complete a CYOA for one of my Master’s assignments, but my professor claims there’s no content in an assignment like this. I believe this assignment gets at higher level Bloom’s and I also know it will focus on ACTFL’s Communication Standards. I’ve asked my professor for guidance, but each time I receive the same answer – “where’s the content?” I’m hoping you can help me link this to ACTFL Standards in a way that will answer this question, because I see how valuable it will be for my students. If you could email me at eldentlinger at yahoo dot com I would sincerely appreciate it!

    Elizabeth Dentlinger


    • Hi Elizabeth, I’m going to answer here in the hopes that others might chime in. One idea I have is that you could choose a theme for the students on a cultural topic that they have to research and include in the story. We started one on Peter the Great a while ago. Unfortunately the year ended and it was too complex. The instigators graduated, and it fell by the wayside. However, I remind myself every so often that process can be just as important as results.

      You could give some examples; it could be from a particular time period, requiring using cultural dress, making it in a TL school, and so on. I personally think that as long as the kids have to write using language that they know, rather than looking anything up, they will have a great experience.

      You could also require that the pieces be in a particular tense, or that the students stick mostly to using the “super seven” verbs (see the link under websites to Terry Thatcher Waltz’s super seven).


      • I’m back…if you’re going for ACTFL standards, I think I covered the cultural standard. You could have kids do things culturally correctly or incorrectly, thus addressing comparisons. If you teach them how to have discussions about their choices for this work, it will be interpersonal communication. And goodness! They’re writing for an audience other than their teacher! That’s presentational, and it links to Common Core. If you require them to use dialogue, they can change their language based on who is talking to whom. (I’ve mixed and matched standards, proficiency guidelines, and CC here. Is your instructor aware of the Can-do statements?)


  4. I think the first example you provided (Peter the Great) sounds ideal, and I would love for my students to complete a project like that. I worry slightly about students not having the vocabulary they would need depending on what they choose, in turn relying too much on a translator. I also like providing a setting and/or cultural appropriateness. We learned a bit about traditional clothing in Mexico last year, and students began this year by learning about schools throughout the world.

    As for the rest of it, I’m not sure why this instructor is saying there’s not content. Everything you mentioned regarding ACTFL (comparisons, interpersonal, presentational) is met by a project like this. When I asked for assistance so I could begin this project with my students, I was told I was rushing things, not taking part in the necessary reflection process, and that it disrupts “the spirit of being co-inquirers.”

    I hope other will chime in with their thoughts/advice. I will let you know how this all plays out!


  5. I understand so well! I sent you a handout from Karen Cafmeyer that might help you. It’s for an entire class novel, rather than a CYOA, but might help you with essential planning–critical of course so that it goes well. Scaffolding with them one time might work better. Maybe you could do a mini-story or two first that you plot out together so that they understand how to do it and limit it somewhat.


  6. You have been so helpful! Thank you so much.


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