A Kinesthetic Reading Adventure

Remember those books where at the end of every page you had the choice to turn to say page 15 or page 35 depending on how you wanted the story to eventuate? Well for a long time now I’ve been thinking about how well this idea would work with QR codes in the place of page numbers. Here’s what I want to do.

  1. Go to a QR code generator website such as http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/
  2. Select the ‘text’ option to bring up the template to create a QR code that contains text and select the barcode size as ‘Large’
  3. Write a piece of your story or copy and paste from a document.
  4. At the end of the section leave an option to “scan code 2 to …..” or scan code 3 to …..”
  5. Hit the ‘Generate’ button to create a QR code that contains the text you entered in the template.
  6. The reader then scans the CODE 1, to read the start of the story and then has the choice to scan different codes depending on how they would like the story to turn out (See the example below)




Once you have generated all of the codes you need you could then print them out and stick them onto an A4 piece of paper with the appropriate number written above. For example QR code 1 would be stuck onto a piece of paper marked with the number 1. You would then scatter the codes throughout the room or around the school and give kids a map that outlined the general location of all the codes.

They would then start scanning their codes, starting with code 1 reading the story and then ‘choosing their own adventure’ which would lead them to a new code and the next part of the story. This would continute until they had completed the entire short story and returned back to the original code.

Now I must admit an activity like this may take some time to set up, however the fact that it is very simple to create a QR code using the generator means students could easily write their own stories using this method.  In my opinion this would be well worth the effort and prove to be a highly engaging way to read and write a story. What do you think?

For information on how you can get QR code reader software onto your cell phone, you can read my previous posts here

12 thoughts on “A Kinesthetic Reading Adventure”

  1. I think this idea could turn into an ‘experiential novel’ where kids make real choices in their reading.

    Critical moment… decision time:

    Do you a] go share what you’ve learned about the bullying episode with Mr. Robbo or b] confront the bully in the cafeteria or c] resolve to meet the victim after school at the bus stop.

  2. That’s a nice idea! Second thing that came to mind (after the choose-you-own-adventure story which I’ve had a soft spot for since reading them as a child) was using it as a real time testing/learning method.

    something like:
    1 + 1 = ??

    a) 1
    b) 2
    c) 4

    Then option b) goes to the next question. Options a & c retrain, expand on, or re-teach the content…

  3. Brad Ovenell-Carter

    I don’t see what the QR code adds to the experience–it seems just a novelty, just a fancier way of saying “click here.”

    But I have seen someone (here?) using QR codes for geo-caching. That seemd a good idea.

  4. I see your point, however the thing about QR codes is they can hyperlink the physical to the digital worlds. Sure in my example Im linking to straight text, however there is no reason why the QR code couldnt link to an animation a student had made for their story or a picture set or a website that hosts some information. QR codes make the link between the two very easy and a very immersive experience.

    On the other hand whats wrong with engaging students by teaching them about a part of their own world? Anyway if your looking for the QR Codes in Geocaching you can find it on this website. Cheers

  5. brilliant ideas Lucy, thanks heaps for sharing. The idea of linking it wiht cyber safety is excellent.

  6. Wow! I needed some “thinking time” on this one to get my head around how it could be used.
    I “really* like Rodd’s idea of the “experiential story” and his examples that perfectly relate the physically world to the actual story.
    The topic of “bullying” that he has used as an example is perfect too. Imagine how great it would be…an opportunity to include cyber bullying in there too as students would actually read the bullying text message on their phone as part of the story.
    I definitely think the opportunity for students to physically move around the school or other designated area adds a whole new dimension and has a much greater impact that a simple discussion, role-play, etc… I could see something being developed as part of a formal digital citizenship program that could be used with a large number of students over time.
    Jarrod, I still think your idea of QR Codes on library books/resources is also an excellent one!
    Another lovely use I heard about was from @marragem on Twitter. She set up a QR Code Easter Egg Hunt with her Year 2 class! Now, I am quite sure that students of all ages would enjoy that kind of Easter Egg Hunt – adults too!

  7. Nic, thanks for the comment. I certainly agree with you, although this is a novelty aspect there is indeed a great deal this activity could do for kinesthetic learners and the disengaged. I would love to see you create a poetry QR code activity, i think it would be a fantastic use of the technology. Anyway thanks for putting some clarity into the post and highlighting some of the areas I hadnt considered.

  8. This is an idea I’ve had bouncing around in my head for a while. I had planned on using QR codes for a poetry orienteering activity a while ago – but my staff and students just weren’t ready for it.

    I can see Brad’s point about the idea being more of a novelty than practical way of enriching an “already crowded curriculum”, however how much of what we talk about when we talk wikis, blogs, prezi, or name your digital tool here could be accused in the same manner? It’s what we do with the ideas and the tools that counts – the idea of meshing geo-caching and a reading adventure (or other literature “quest”) is a valid one.

    Think about the benefits for kinaesthetic learners, the potential to engage at risk, disengaged readers, the opportunity to have students engage in the environment around them (a historical trail through a particular area, extension activities embedded in areas around the school – the ideas just keep coming).

    Jared, thanks for reminding me about this one – you’ve got me excited with possibilities again 🙂

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