Mr Finlayson

Education and Technology

Posts Tagged ‘realMyst’

Myst – The Interactive Story

Posted by alexfinlayson on July 11, 2009

So here it is – the final product. Hope it works. It’s quite a large file so please be patient if your internet connection is as bad as mine out here in Central Queensland

One problem – the hyperlinks don’t seem to be working so you can only read it slide by slide – which kind of negates the entire point – but you still get the general idea.

I’ve attached a PPT file which you can download for the interactive experience.

The Myst Story

Please can you leave some feedback via comments that I can share with my class, thank you


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Myst – Art

Posted by alexfinlayson on June 25, 2009

We are coming close to the end of our Myst unit and the guys are working hard on their interactive stories.
Over the course of the unit we have completed a number of art activities. One of them was the very simple, yet effective, creation of a Myst Landscape Silhouette.
The procedure is very simple,
1) I showed the students various landscape drawings and we discussed the colours of the sky at various times of the day.
2) We looked through a number of key landscapes throughout the Myst Ages and described what we saw.
3) Talked about mixing colours and using broad brush strokes to help with the ‘sky effect’
4) We looked at silhouettes and discussed the position of the sun, the way we ‘see’ light and how we can portray key landmarks with cut-out silhouettes.
5) Students made a written plan of what area of Myst they would portray as a silhouette – this included what colours they would need and what landscapes they would cut out.
6) We did it.

The criteria was simple, the landscape has to be recognisable as somewhere on Myst Island or one of the Ages.
Here are a few samples…

The Tower on Myst IslandMyst IslandThe Channelwood AgeThe Clock as seen from Myst IslandThe Clock TowerThe crystals on the Spaceship AgeThe rocks in Stoneship AgeThe rocks on the stoneship ageThe spaceship as seen from Myst Island

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The Myst Courtroom Drama

Posted by alexfinlayson on June 16, 2009

On Friday we had one of our culminating activities for the Myst unit – the long awaited Courtroom Drama. My guys had been looking forward to this for a long time and had completed a lot of work in preparation for the day.

The morning started with a simple question on the interactive whiteboard:

Which book will you choose?

Red / Blue / Green

I did not say anything to the class but let them come into the room and see the board – the discussions started immediately – and when they realised I wasn’t going to say anything – they really took the initiative. Before long there were three distinct groups in the room arguing over which book would be the best choice. Great fun.

I took the guys into an ajoining room with the labe/s Agree / Strongly Agree / Disagree / Strongly Disagree displayed in each corner – I then asked them a series of questions and got them to make a decision – quizzing them over their choices. I was surprised and pleased to find that this exercise achieved some very positive results – this is a weak group and my particularly reluctant writers thrived during this session – it was a fantastic experience.

I then got the guys together in the centre of the room and asked them to make a decision based on the brothers Sirrus and Achenar – which one did they trust? which one would they defend in court? Also, did anyone distrust both brothers enough to choose the mysterious green book? (all we know of the book at this stage is that it trapped Sirrus and Achenar – or so they say)

With a little ‘teachering’ we ended up with three roughly even groups and I gave the guys their resources for the session

  • A3 red cards with everything relating to Sirrus – transcripts of speeches, notes
  • A3 blue cards with everything relating to Achenar – transcripts of speeches, notes
  • A3 green cards with a transcript of Atrus’ speech from the digital imager

Each group also had 2 other sheets of card for their notes – they were to compose two arguments – one in defence of their choice and two, an accusation of the others.

Later in the day we had the courtroom set up – we rows of seats in a ‘U’ shape with myself behind a desk in the middle. Each team made an opening statement and then took turns to argue key points. During these turns other groups could raise an ‘objection’ which I would ‘overrule’ or ‘sustain’ (not sure who had more fun – me or the kids?)

I had a simple scoring system – everything was out of 5. I judged the quality of their statements, the effectiveness of the response and the accuracy of the counter-rebuttal.

In the end the blue team won – and it was thanks largely to one particular student who really struggles with written work but gave wonderfully concise, accurate arguments – he got my Student of the Week award solely for that.

It’s now Tuesday afternoon and the guys have just gone to Music, still talking about Friday, still asking for more of the same – you’ve got to love that!


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Myst Literacy Unit Plan

Posted by alexfinlayson on June 15, 2009

When I started out on this little Myst adventure I wasted a long, long time trawling the internet searching for ready-made plans that I could *ahem* ‘liberate’ ideas from… I had no success so eventually I just sucked it up and wrote one from scratch…
Now, my plans (much to the delight of my boss) usually look like this…

Typical Plan

So in my search for nice teacher-karma (making up for everything I’ve *ahem* ‘liberated’) I decided to tidy the plan up – present it properly and upload it onto the web so anyone in a similar position has a good jumping off point.
It’s not perfect,  I deleted a lot that was specific to individuals (turned out that was a lot) and it probably won’t be thorough enough but there are a lot of teaching ideas to work with and a few assessment pieces.
You can find it in my Myst page or download directly from here:

Myst Literacy Unit Plan

Credit must go to Graham at Adventure Game Walkthroughs for his excellent guide to realMyst.

Posted in Education, Myst | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »


Posted by alexfinlayson on June 11, 2009

As mentioned in a previous post we are lucky enough to have a room dedicated to the teaching of the Myst unit. There are 6 display boards in the room of which we are making good use.


One of the boards is for Myst Island, four others are for the Ages; Stoneship, Spaceship, Mechanic and Channelwood. The final board will be to display a printed version of our interactive Wiki story.

                    Myst Island                                               The Mechanical Age                                 The Spaceship Age


              The Channelwood Age


Myst – giant map, key words, Wordle doc, art, descriptionsWork6

Mechanical – large rotating map, compass points, art

Spaceship – Compass, poems, art key words

Channelwood – This one was interesting because the students decided they wanted to create word walls that looked like the trees in the Channelwood Age. They worked in pairs cutting out the trunks and decorating them to look like bark and then they compiled a list of descriptive words and phrases. This document was then copied into Wordle and the students played with the format until they had something they were happy with and believed fit with the Age.

The students then analysed these Wordle documents and pulled out the words they thought had to be in there, words they could remove and words they could replace with the use of a thesaurus and Visuwords.

The image on the right shows the least successful of these word walls – it is well done and well thought out but the spelling leaves a little to be desired and the choice of words is limited. This group got distracted by the imagery of Wordle and did not use it to thoroughly analyse their words as was the intention.

(NB: ‘Myst’ and ‘mist’ is something my guys have frequently confused and been corrected on – memory retention in this low-level group is certainly interesting)

 I love having displays of the students work up in my rooms – it really lets them feel a Wordle Channelwoodsense of achievement that something they have created is deemed good enough to end up on the wall. I often start the year with a very bland room and let the students work bring the colour and life.

Having the Myst Room has proven beneficial in the sense that all the work for Myst is contained in this one area and when the students enter that room they are surrounded it. This helps them to get into the correct mindset and to concentrate.

A negative aspect of having the Myst room is that for the majority of the day the students favourite work is tucked away in a dark room (and it really is proving to be the students favourite work)

A few close-ups

 Work4The good-old acrostic (not a fan but a good ext. act.)




The piece on the right is from my weakest student – I think this is great – the imagery he creates really fits with what he was trying to describe.

And of course, every boy in Grade 5 loves drawing spaceships – well this was drawn by a girl, at home. Her Mum ”aged’ it a brought it in to ‘see what all the fuss was about’

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