Combining coding with literacy into an approach known as story coding offers a wide range of benefits for students across all subject areas.

How this teacher uses story coding to spark creativity and collaboration

Combining coding with literacy offers a wide range of benefits for students across all subject areas

When coding merges with storytelling, you have story coding, in which students use computational skills and design thinking as they demonstrate creativity across core curricular areas.

During an ISTELive 22 virtual session, computer science, robotics, and design thinking educator Paige Besthoff demonstrated how story coding–combining storytelling and coding–helps students develop critical skills.

Story coding involves using computer programming to retell stories–students might summarize a story, write original stories, or use programming to create alternative endings to well-known stories. Teachers can use story coding to bring history, science, world languages, ELA, and even math into their lessons.

Teachers can incorporate story coding into almost any subject area, and computer science concepts help students develop important lifelong skills–such as collaboration, communication, and perseverance–even if they don’t pursue computer science or STEM subjects in college or as a career path.

In fact, using computer science concepts in story coding encourages students to build computational thinking skills through the use of sequences, logic, variables, events, and more. Students also use real-time and creative collaboration as they generate their stories and tackle challenges during that process.

“My students are able to learn about computer science, but in a fun way. Doing it in a cross-curricular manner [means] teachers who aren’t computer science teachers can incorporate it without having to add an additional subject into what they teach,” Besthoff said.

Laura Ascione

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