Choose Your Own Adventure Films – A Quick Guide

As we come to the end of our first term, I thought I would share with you one of the projects Year Six completed under the umbrella of our Learning Unit, ‘Decisions, Decisions’.

This is the fifth year that I have taught this topic and I felt it needed a shake up, especially when considering the wonderful new technology at our disposal. Previously, we had produced our own interactive choose-your-own-adventure (COYA) style stories. These were originally produced on powerpoint (remember that?) and we hyperlinked each decision to their respective slide and then they were saved on the school server, never to be seen again. Last year, we used Keynote, saved to PDF, published to Flipsnack and coded to our school blog.

This time however, we tried something completely different, CYOA films!

On Youtube over the summer, I had come across a film that had an annotation on it that linked to another film.  This got me thinking; we could use this feature to produce short films that ended in a dilemma in which there were two possible outcomes; or in other words a good decision and a bad decision. The viewer could then click on the annotation to see the respective consequences.

Before any hint of film-making took place, as a class we discussed decisions that children and young adults may face and considered what the consequences may be. The children then split into groups of fours and chose specific topics in which they would become experts and used the ‘Big Six‘ research method to investigate the dangers of topics such as smoking, healthy eating, alcohol, gambling and cyberbullying.

Once the children had ascertained sufficient knowledge and understanding of these topics, we discussed and learned the features of play-scripts and how to write them. They then set about creating play-scripts with three scenes:

  • Scene One – An introduction to the dilemma that ends with two possible choices. These choices were then added to the screen using YouTube’s annotate function and linked to two separate films (Scene Two or Scene Three)
  • Scene Two – This featured the consequences of making a good choice
  • Scene Three – This featured the consequences of making a bad choice
We then filmed all the respective scenes in and around ISM, and then took our films back to the classroom for editing and each group chose their music, subtitles, sound effects and film edits for their final movies.

Once the final edits were completed, I uploaded the films to my school YouTube account and ensured the privacy settings were set to private. I then added the annotations and the respective links to the films, including a link at the end of Scenes 2/3 that returned the viewer back to the beginning of scene 1. Although the students were more than capable of doing this, it was a simple way of eliminating any AUP issues. Similarly we ensured no real names were used at any point in the film.

Here are a couple of the final feature films – make your decisions wisely!

Once the films were all completed, we hosted a film premiere afternoon in our Learning Hub to which all parents/guardians were invited. We The afternoon was a great success. The class made flyers and brought in popcorn to add an extra sense of reality to the whole occasion.

CYOA Film Premiere Leaflet


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