Hypertext stories

Launch the Adventure Island Online tool


The Kids on the Net Guide to Writing a Hypertext Adventure

Writing the adventure itself
Adventure Island has been designed so that you can create an island that other people are able to visit and explore. You can create descriptions for each area of your island, and these can be written in either the style of a story, diary or guide.
You can include on your island areas that will trap an unsuspecting visitor, and force them to start again, as well as including four clues that, once found, will allow the visitor to escape from the island and back to civilisation.

Technology points.
It's always best to sketch out your ideas on paper, then type the descriptions and edit it in a word processor, and only when it is as good as it can be, transfer it onto the Adventure Island tool.

How to write the text in each area.
There are several ways that you may want to write the text for your island.
You may wish to write the text as parts of a diary or journal you kept when you were isolated on the island. For this type of text you would write in the first person and use “I see a…” or “we walked towards the…” You can even decide whether your dairy will record events as they happened, in the present tense, or whether they were recorded later, in the past tense. A visitor to your island would then read the text of your time on the island.
You may choose to write the text in the second person, guiding a visitor around your island. In this case you would use terms such as “You can see…” or “You walk towards…” and write in the second person.
Finally, you may choose to write the descriptions in the third person. For this writing you would use terms like “He began to walk towards the…” or “She stopped and looked at the…” This style would become more of a story as the visitor reads through the text.

Method for the project.
Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo.
Read the chapter “Ship’s Log”. This is written in the second person, and consists of dairy entries.
Read on and discuss the story.
Read the remaining chapters of the book. Although they are written in the first person, now it is as a story.
Compare the styles.
Discuss how the styles vary between chapter 3 and the rest of the book. Which style would be suitable for the class / group to reproduce, or would writing in the second person be the style preferred.

The Stages involved.
Stage 1:Request a username and password.
Send an email to Kids on the Net expressing an interest in Adventure Island. We will send you a username and password to enter the Adventure Island tool.

Stage 2: Begin using the Adventure Island tool.
Log in using the teachers username and password you were given.

Stage 3: Enter your school name.

Stage 4: Your island name.
Choose the name of your island. (This will be displayed on the islands page).

Stage 5: Choose an island design.
Select one island from the list of maps available. At this point using a whiteboard would be a useful way to involve the whole class.

Stage 6: The starting point.
Choose where visitors will ‘land’ when they arrive at your island.

Stage 7: Pupil password.
Set up a pupil password, making sure that the class / group remember it. This will allow pupils to enter the text description section.

Stage 8: Log out.
Return to the main page of the tool.

Stage 9: Pupil log in.
Allow pupils to log in using the pupil password you created, along with the name of their school/ group.

Stage 10: Choose area
Click on the coordinate that you are going to describe.
HINT: allocate pupils with the numbers 1 – 36 before this point, so that they are able to select their location and continue working. Let them use a computer to see their part of the island, and ask them to jot down notes for that area. (See the teaching notes for more details).
At this point, discuss the areas with the whole class.
Talk about all the areas on the island, and decide if you are going to include any ‘dead ends’ and ‘traps’ that will require the visitor to start again.

Stage 11: Enter the ‘clues’ text
Select groups that will enter the text for the four clues and the page that allows the visitor to ‘escape’ from the Island.

Stage 12: Log out of the pupil section
Return to the main page.

Stage 13: Log into the teacher area

Stage 14: Edit the text
Check the pupil’s work for spelling and punctuation errors. Ensure the text is written in the correct person (1st, 2nd or 3rd) depending on the style decided at the start of the project.

Stage 15: Add links
At this point you can begin to add the links from area to area.
You may choose to make the areas link to all others, and allow visitors to wander around randomly, or you may decide to create a ‘path’ around the island that a visitor will have to follow.
HINT: it may be an idea to use a grid drawn on the board so that the class can decide which directions are available from each area.
If you are going to include ‘dead ends’ or ‘traps’ remember not to link back to previous squares, otherwise a visitor can escape!

Stage 16: Add the clues
Select the four areas that will contain the clues by ticking the box on the relevant page.
HINT: if you have created a ‘path’ around your island, one of the clues will have to be placed in the final square that a visitor reaches.

Stage 17: Alter the password
Change the pupil password to prevent any pupils from changing the text of locations once it has been completed.

Stage 18: Log out

Stage 19: Completion
Notify Kids on the Net that you have completed your island.

Stage 20: Activation
We will check the text and then remove your username and password, and activate your island so that your school and others are able to explore around it.

Extending the Hypertext Story Project.
This is just one possible structure for a hypertext. You may wish to experiment with other types of hypertext writing.

You can use other features of the Web to add interest to stories.
- Alternative endings, where there is one beginning, then everyone in the class writes a possible ending. On the Web, the reader would be able to select a link or perhaps a click a button allowing the computer to select a random ending from among those possible.
- Tell a story from different points of view. Have everyone write the beginning of a story from a particular character's viewpoint (e.g., arriving at a haunted house) and then write one middle of the story collaboratively together (the ghosts appear and cause mayhem) then the children can each write an ending from their characters' point of view (see Over the Rainbow for an example).
- Write a collection of stories or poems or features on a single theme, and link them with a front page theme graphic, such as a map (e.g. for stories set in parts of a desert island), a quilt (see the Noon Quilt) or a string of lamps perhaps (which would suit a series of poems about Diwali). Clicking on different squares of the quilt or areas of the map would bring up the individual pieces. By writing collaboratively in this way the whole work becomes more than the sum of the parts, and it's an attractive way to present a collection of writing on a theme.

Kids on the Net does not have templates (yet - but watch this space!) for these types of stories, but if you need help in transferring your stories into web pages, please get in touch with us.

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