Playing with Fire: Literary Activities to Inspire Students in the Digital Age

Grade Levels
8th - 10th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
47 pages
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"I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again"
- Fire and Rain (James Taylor)

Note: Some of my products have some “out there” ideas. Make sure to look at the preview before purchasing. Everyone's classroom is unique and while these lessons work within my classroom, that may not be the case in another’s room. In this case, Firewatch, as a complete game, is rated M for Mature audiences. Teachers should be aware of its rating, however, none of the clips I’ve used from my play throughs depict any of these issues. I’ve trimmed down my videos, so that this is comparable to a PG-13 movie.

With that being said, I'm at it again with combining the digital age and ELA concepts. I've had such great success with my teenage students with my earlier video game creations such as . . .

Link-Carried Off to Rapture - Analyzing Video Game Narrative

Link-Analytic Writing with Video Games

Link-Sane in the Membrane: Brain Empowering Activities

Here at Wake Up Sunshine, I'm very proud to bring my newest creation Playing with Fire: Literary Activities to Inspire Students in the Digital Age. The game's creators and developers at Campo Santo were kind enough to give me the go ahead to pursue this idea.

The story's background can be seen below.

Henry is our key protagonist and the viewpoint the story of Firewatch, is told from. Henry meets his wife, a college professor named Julia, before the game’s main action even begins. The two eventually fall in love and get married. Their relationship has the normal ups and downs of any marriage until Julia develops early onset dementia and she begins to suffer from memory loss. Henry makes the choice that she needs some from of assisted living, and Julia winds up with her family back in Melbourne, Australia.

Having a difficult time coming to grips with his wife’s demise, Henry takes a job as a fire lookout at the Two Forks lookout at the Shoshone National Park, in Wyoming. His boss or supervisor is named Delilah, whom Henry can communicate with via handheld radios.

So goes the tale that your students will embark on within these analytic writing activities. Each of my video game writing activity units are by far my students favorite activities, and low and behold, they actually look forward to writing! I've also included various activities in the Topics to Ponder section, which relate to key concepts or themes, which present themselves throughout the story. The bottom line is that it encourages students to dig deeper into the story's narrative.

Included in the Guide→

3 Terms of Use
4 Core Standards
5 How I Teach with the Guide
6 - 8 Video Clip Thumbnails
9 Story Background and Literary Elements
10 The Beginning - Exposition Activity
11 Roaming - Setting
12 The Window - Foreshadowing
13 Power Lines - Dialogue
14 Scared Straight - Persuasion
15 Brian - Foreshadowing
16 Aspen Grove - Narrative
17 Emotions - Characterization
18 Turning Point - Ouch!
19 Need a Firefighter - Viewer’s Response 1
20 Controlled Burn - Annotate
21 Trees - Compare/Contrast
22 Breaking In - Sequence
23 Walkman - Viewer’s Response 2
24 Motion Tracker - Suspense
25 Finding Brian - Sensory Details
26 Ned Godwin - Paragraph Response
27 Topics to Ponder
28 Isolation Activity
29 Thunderstorms Activity
30 Homonyms Activity
31 - 37 Elements of a Mystery Activity
38 Forest Fires Activity
39 Wyoming Activity
40 Wyoming Trees Activity
41 Tracking Systems Activity
42 Rocking Climbing Equipment Activity
43 Is Rock Climbing Dangerous Activity
44 Stages of Grief Activity
45 Dementia Activity
46 Assessing the Work
47 References

If you're a teacher willing to stretch the boundaries to fully engage today's students, then Playing with Fire: Literary Activities to Inspire Students in the Digital Age may be what you're looking for to allure all your students in the classroom!

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Total Pages
47 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


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