In Crystal Island, students are motivated to acquire competencies in both science and language arts through active participation in highly engaging problem-solving activities. The narrative-centered learning environment provided by Crystal Island motivates students to develop and apply their science problem-solving skills as well as their ability to interpret complex informational texts. Students interact with virtual characters, virtual lab equipment, and read science texts to construct and apply context-specific knowledge to interpret complex events.
Throughout the game, students develop central ideas, find themes, and craft potential solutions through gathering key supporting details, information, and evidence necessary for solving the ill-structured problem presented in the game’s narrative (CCS, Key Ideas and Details). Through interactions with virtual characters, students are able to assess how point-of-view can impact decisions and solutions within the ill-structured problem environment (CCS, Craft and Structure). The game-based learning environment is an ideal solution to meeting Common Core Standards for integration and evaluation of content presented in diverse formats and media (CCS, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas).
Alignment with North Carolina Essential Standards for Eighth-Grade Science & Microbiology
- Understand the hazards caused by agents of diseases that effect living organisms.
- Summarize the basic characteristics of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites relating to the spread, treatment and prevention of disease.
Alignment with Next Generation Science Standards
- Patterns – observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them.
- Scale, proportion, and quantity – in considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different measures of size, time, and energy and to recognize how changes in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system’s structure or performance.
- Structure and function – the way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions.
Understandings about the Nature of Science
- Scientific investigations use a variety of methods
- Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence
- Scientific knowledge is open to revision in light of new evidence
Alignment with North Carolina Common Core Standards for English Language Arts
Instructional methods within the game were designed specifically to support the following objectives:
- Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
- Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
- Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.
- Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
- Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
- Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
Refer to Crystal Island Common Core Alignment Details for specific requirements.
Referenced standards are available at the following locations: