Introductory Sessions to Creative Storytelling and Videogames Development for Kids

A good, well structured class plan will help students to learn the lesson, but their learning will circumscribe to the lesson and its contents.

But with a fun and engaging experience that reveals the magic of infinite possibilities, their learning never stops, trascending the lesson, the classroom and motivating them to search more, to learn more, to do more and continue learning by themselves.

The following two lessons, demonstrate the format of our "magic-first" learning experience approach to get children and young adults engaged and motivated to develop videogames based on stories while stimulating their creativity.

Session 1: The Magic of Stories and Game (90min)

Block A: Stories (45min)

  1. Tell a Magical Story.
    • Start by telling a short story: engaging, fun, inspiring, imaginative and fantastic
      • (ie. about a boy and a girl saving the world or their family with their skateboard and kite at the edge of the universe or deep in the forest)
  2. Reflect about the Magic of Stories.
    1. Ask the children if they liked the story. What did it made them feel?
    2. Point out that such is the power of stories: to make us feel things, take part on fantastic adventures, explore .
      1. Stories have the magic power of making us happy or sad, regardless of the world around us.
  3. Demystify Stories.
    • Reveal that you invented the story. That before you didn't invent it in your head, neither the story or the characters existed.
    • Maybe confess that the girl in the story is you and that the boy is a handsome friend from school, but the foes are totally made up.
  4. Motivation to Create Stories.
    1. Remind them that they can create their own stories.
      • Stories that can make themselves and others happy and take away sorrows or fears.
    2. Tell them it's easy to create stories, and fun.
    3. Ask them if they would like to create stories.
  5. Shared Commitment to Create Stories.
    • Promise them that they will learn to create their own stories so that they can make themselves, their family and friends happy.

Block B: The Magic of Videogames (45min)

  1. Redirect Attention to Videogames.
    • Before they get too focused on stories, or lose interest, we make an abrupt, unexpected turn and announce:
      • "But before creating stories, let's play some videogames, who wants to play videogames?"
  2. A curated videogame experience.
    1. We invite them to play for 5-10 minutes a number of hand-picked short videogames that are aligned with our goals.
      • (maybe some games we make ourselves on Scratch or Pocket Code).
    2. We ask if they liked them and what they liked about them.
    3. Link to their previous videogaming experience (optional and if adequate).
      1. We ask about their favorite videogames and why they like them.
      2. We point out the similarities among their favorite videogames and the games they just played.
  3. Demystify Videogames and Linking them to Stories.
    • We point out how videogames are nothing more than interactive stories.
      • Stories that move and respond to our actions and (some of them) evolve.
  4. Motivation to Create Videogames.
    • Reveal that it's easy to create videogames.
    • Easy and fun and that they can do it.
    • Ask them if they would like to create videogames 
  5. Shared Commitment to Create Videogames.
    • Promise them they will learn to create videogames to play themselves and to share with friends and the rest of the world.

Session 2: Hands on Creation of Stories and Videogames (120 min)

Block 1 Creating a Story. (45 minutes)

This session is meant to be fluid at a moving pace. No pressure is to be put on children to imagine or create anything. If they want or can, they're welcome to. In any case, they are taken through the steps in fluid flow and the steps guarantee they completing a story without much effort.

  1. Connect to previous session, and stories and videogames.
    • We explain that a story is made up by multiple elements, events and situations.
  2. Start Creating.
    1. Getting ready.
      1. If they have a story they can think of, invite them to describe it and/or write it down, even if incomplete. The steps below will allow identifying and/or completing the elements.
    2. If they can't think of a story, no problem, they will build it element by element following the steps below.
    3. Elements of the Story.
      Each child chooses:


      1. A theme or topic: adventure, love, quest, race.
      2. A place or location: city, desert, jungle, space, fantasy world, undersea, beach, underground, Africa, Caribbean, etc.
      3. A main character (optionally one or more friends)
      4. A goal to be achieved.
      5. A character, creature or element (or more) that makes it difficult to achieve the goal.
      6. A character, creature or element (or more) that makes it easy to achieve the goal.
      7. A condition that defines achieving the goal.
  3. We have a Story!
    • Each child puts together the elements and completes the story.
  4. Improving the story.
    • Stories can change and be improved as we have new ideas and the combination of elements shows possibilities we had not thought of.
    • Changing one or more elements can have significant element on the story or its impact (from sad to fun, boring to engaging, etc.)
  5. Every child tells his/her story (Optional, if there is time and is adequate).
    • Make sure no one makes fun of any story

Block 2: Creating a VideoGame: First Experience (75 min)

  1. First hands-on experience. (35 min)
    1. Explain that a videogame is pretty much like a story and is made up by multiple elements, events and situations.
    2. Create a demo scene - from the story created before.
    3. Choose a background.
    4. Place main character.
    5. Add one or more actions to character.
      • character moves at random, speaks a sentence, or responds to user actions and moves and/or jumps, etc.
    6. Run the demo and enjoy your first creation.
  2. Identifying and Defining Elements (40 min) 
    1. Explain that once we have a story, we have almost all the elements for a videogame.
    2. Translate elements of the story to elements of the videogame.
      • Location to background, characters to characters, etc.
    3. Define elements unique to a videogame:
      1. Type of videogame:
        • maze, sports, scrolling, obstacles, explore and discover, rpg, etc.
      2. Character actions - User control.
        • move, jump, attack, shoot, talk, take, give, carry, etc.
      3. Limitations and perils.
        • contrarian characters, obstacles, bombs, holes, fire, arrows shot, etc.
      4. Beneficial elements.
        • shields, gifts, tunnels.
    4. Experiment introducing some elements to demo created before.

The students are now motivated and have a taste of the skills to acquire and their potential. The rest of the lessons introduce additional elements, actions, interactions and behavior in an incremental fashion.