LESSON 2: “World-Building” and Choice


Return to: ETAP 623 Spring 2019 Section 5933 (Byrne) | Creative Writing in the Modern Classroom

Lesson 2: “World-Building” and Choice

Topic: How to give students choice through world-building

Objective: Evaluate how to lead students through the drafting writing process and how world-building gives students choice by completing 2 projects as an assessment in your journal.

Project 1

When it comes to drafting writing, many teachers know that this is a long and tedious process for students that needs to be broken down into many logical steps. Students need facilitation during the drafting process, as their ideas can often become overwhelming or they can hit a stumbling block and lose motivation completely.

For the first project in this lesson, you’ll study a fictional lesson plan about the drafting process, located here. It is recommended that you save or bookmark this lesson for later use, but it will continue to be hyperlinked in future units for your convenience regardless. The techniques found in this lesson will help you begin to learn how to help students draft a writing piece, or begin to add ideas to what will become a creative writing piece. After you make your way through this, you will then add the world-building elements to that and begin to form a picture of what world-building and creative writing can do to enhance your state-mandated module lessons, or flavor your hand-written and researched lessons.

Begin by reading through pages 1 and 2 of the lesson plan. In your Unit 2 journal, answer the questions under the “Lesson in Action” heading. When finished, share this journal with jwilson6@albany.edu to have it evaluated.

Project 2

It’s no secret that fictional literature is more engaging than non-fiction. We live in a wonderful world, full of amazing things that are happening all the time, but deep down we are all storytellers. From the ancient times until now, humans have told stories as a way to pass on morals, facts, and to entertain. Creative writing, when used correctly, can help students in a multitude of ways. We will focus, from here on out, on 3. With improving social and emotional learning, the inter/intrapersonal relationship that a student has with themselves and how they see others in society. With understanding facts, or accurate historical details. By giving students an outlet for their imaginations, and encouraging the 21st century creative thinking Ever-popular with younger generations, video games and games with roleplaying scenarios contain the basic elements of world-building.


The image to the right is an example of a checklist for world-building that can be used when writing creative pieces. I know the amount of boxes is a little overwhelming, and obviously students aren’t creating whole books or video games, but just by looking at this checklist one can see where students would need to take the time to research the different elements of world-building that need to be included when creating a “believable” world for readers. Creative writing has a lot of elements that need to be researched and developed. The drafting process for creative writers takes a lot of trial and error, and a lot of effort to create a story that readers believe. The act of imagining a world is exciting and engaging for students, “‘students [are] hungry for the chance to create their own stories,’ Tavernise says. ‘They [want] the opportunity to write fiction. That’s what they read’” (Boss, 2019).

A great example of world-building outside the literary world and in the hands of children is the game Dungeons and Dragons. Some of you reading this may recognize it from the “Satanic Panic” of the 80s, others may recognize it from the popular Netflix series Stranger Things, and some dear participants of this course may not know of the game at all. This roleplaying game often takes place in a fictional setting created by a group of creatives/writers/artists called The Wizards of the Coast. The world of Dungeons and Dragons has been molded over time and published in many hard-cover books, with new lore being added daily to online forums and publishing sites. Children willingly pour over these texts and research new ideas to add into their campaign settings for the game. The act of using their imagination entices them to spend hours upon hours reading and writing without even realizing that they are becoming readers and writers. Read through this article and make notes in your journal about the contributions of the game to the 3 key benefits of creative writing mentioned above. This will be reviewed and commented on by the instructor alongside the last project after you share your journal with the instructor. The rubric for this is found here, it is merely a S/U grade reviewing if you were able to find ways the game contributes to the 3 key benefits.


Boss, S. (2019). Gaming as a Tool for Narrative Writing. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/gaming-tool-narrative-writing?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&fbclid=IwAR1hLlS6cUtuXCMzyHD9qGck8RWDAgsiBlMpVD-P3nga4eoIH0iMnun5Mzo

Ready to move on? Unit 3: World-Building Elements in Practice