Literacy Skills: Short Stories

LITERACY SKILLS are the key, transferable skills required to process, and understand the multitude of TEXTS we encounter every day.  From VISUAL to AUDITORY, from video games to novels, we rely on our skills to make meaning and ascertain messages.

Like all skills, they must be developed, honed, and practiced.  One of the best ways to INTRODUCE or REINFORCE these skills with your students in through the use of SHORT STORIES.  For that reason, a number of lessons have been developed for specific stories.



What Are Literacy Skills?

For a primer on the TEN KEY LITERACY SKILLS you should review the following articles:


What’s Included?

Each Lesson is fully explained and laid out in a WEB BASED format, that explains what PRIOR KNOWLEDGE is required, and what the NEXT STEPS should be.

MORE IMPORTANTLY each lesson comes with a FREE DOWNLOADABLE PDF of the lesson that is CLASSROOM-READY to be copied and handed to students for immediate use!

If you would like to SUPPORT ME you can choose to purchase the FULL PACKAGES of resources through my TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS account.  However, this is not necessary, and all individual assignments are completely FREE through this site.


How to Use These Lessons

You can introduce a class to one text, and have them work through all TEN assignments based on the specific text.  However, you may also find it more valuable to progress through the ten skills using a VARIETY of texts.  As each collection uses the same framework, and basic assignments, you will have no problem switching from one story to the next, so long as you MAINTAIN the order in which you tackle the TEN SKILLS.


The Short Stories

Below you will find links to the specific SHORT STORIES for which LITERACY SKILLS ASSIGNMENTS have been created.  Feel free to comment with recommendations for additional stories.

Charles, by Shirley Jackson – Lexile Level 760


Video Tutorial Series: ThingLink, the Digital Annotation Tool

ThingLink is a free online tool to digitally annotate images. There area wide variety of reasons for using ThingLink in your classroom, ranging from visualizing complex ideas, to streamlining presentations.

Here you will find a number of tutorials that walk you, step-by-step, through the tool. You will move from complete beginner to expert in less than ten minutes.

Feel free to like, share, and comment on any of the videos so that can work towards increasing its ability to help you help your students.


ThingLink: An Introduction for Beginners

This video will introduce you to ThingLink and help you learn how to upload an image, add digital pegs, and change their colour and sizes.  It will also show you how to save, and share your work with your students for easy presentations, and inclusion in Digital Classrooms.



ThingLink: Visualizing Point, Evidence, and Explanation

This video will show you how to use the basic ThingLink functionality to help students visualize their Point, Evidence, Evaluation – PEE – Paragraphs.



ThingLink: Analyzing with the Media Triangle

This video will help teachers use ThingLink in conjunction with The Media Triangle.  By annotating and colour coding all three sides of the triangle, students will be able to ensure they are using sufficient evidence when determining the meaning of a media text.  Using ThingLink also allows students to quickly, and beautifully, explain their choices to their teacher, or the entire class.

For a related assignment, please see Gender Lesson: Using the Media Triangle to Annotate Advertisements.



Comment about how you’ve successfully used ThingLink in your classroom!

Introducing The Media Triangle

The Media Triangle was first created by Eddie Dick, and has since been used as a way for people to fully analyze the messages and meanings of media texts.  By focusing not only on the text itself, but also the audience, and the production, one is able to tease out complex concepts that might otherwise go overlooked.

The Media Triangle

The media triangle is the lens through which students should be encouraged to view Media Texts.  Below is a visual representation of the Media Triangle, along with a number of guiding questions to help students analyze its three sides.

Questions can be simplified so that even grade 1 students can begin to view the world around them through this lens.

Media Triangle - Sized

The Three Sides

While it’s important to see the Media Triangle, and have a selection of questions that students can use to navigate their way through any given text, you must ensure that you fully understand what each question is looking for.  They are explained, in detail, below.


1. What type of text is this?

This question is asking students to identify if the text is a song, video game, short story, photograph, etc.  Once they have identified to the type of text, they will be able to compare it to other texts of the same type, helping to identify common tropes or intentional deviations.

2. What story does this text tell?

Each text tells a story.  In the case of a short story, a summary may be simple for a student to create, however when looking at a song, or a photograph, or a corporate logo students will need to delve into symbolic representations to ensure they are aware of what the text is trying to express.

3. How does this text tell a story?

Some texts tell their story through written words, while others use symbols or images.  Some texts may use sound, and no visuals at all, to communicate their story.

4. Is equity depicted in this text?

Students should be asked to identify the presence or lack of representation based on:

  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Race
  • Culture
  • Socio-Economic Status
  • Abledness
  • Mental Health

5. What stereotypes are present?

Once students have identified which groups are represented in the piece, they should look to see what that representation looks like.  Are certain groups stereotyped, and if so how does that impact the text as a whole?  Students should consider why those stereotypes are present.

6. What values does this text express?

Once an understanding of the literal pieces of the text has been ascertained, students should have an understanding of what values the text is putting forward.  They should be able to tell what is being said about specific groups, and if those are positive or negative messages.

7. Do I share the values of this text?

Once there is an understanding of the values being espoused by the text, students should consider if they share those values or not.  Coming to this conclusion is a strong place to leap from the Media Text side of the triangle over to the Audience.


1. Who is the Target Audience of this text?

Having looked at the Media Text, students should have an understanding of who the target audience of the text is.  The target audience should be specific, and should include as many of the following as possible:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Race
  • Culture
  • Socio-Economic Status

2. What elements of this text target that specific audience?

Once the Target Audience has been identified, students should Identify Main and Supporting Details that specifically link the text to each of the aspects of the Target Audience.

3. Does this text appeal to me?

Regardless of if the student is or is not the Target Audience, they should describe whether the text appeals to them, focusing on specific elements that either attract or detract from their enjoyment of the text.

4. What changes to this text are required for it to appeal to me?

This question can be answered even if the text appeals to the students.  There are always ways to improve the piece, and understanding the specific ways that the text could be altered to make it more relatable will further their understanding of how different audiences will react to it.

5. What audiences would be put off by this media text?

While each text is made with a specific Target Audience is mind, there will be many more people outside that audience.  Not everyone will appreciate the text the same way as others will.  Students should consider which groups might not like the text, while identifying details that support their decisions.


1.Who created this media text?

While a text may look empowering at first glance, it’s important to understand who created the piece.  There is a big difference in the meaning of a text if the creator is a for-profit company, versus a charity, or an independent creator.

2. What do I know about the creator of this text?

Looking at what the students know about the creator is a great way to understand the impact that the creator has on the creation.  If the creator has a history of creating texts with contrary meanings to the current piece, that is worth considering.  If the creator has long since expressed a similar message, be it positive or negative, that is also worth considering when trying to infer the meaning of the piece.

3. What has the creator done to grab the Target Audience’s attention?

While students have already identified what aspects appeal to the target audience, this question forces them to understand that things aren’t placed on the text by accident.  Students must confront the fact that the text does not exist in a vacuum, but was instead made with a purpose.  What specific choices were made by the creator to ensure that the Target Audience would find themselves drawn into this piece?

4. Who profits from this media text?

Similar to the first question under Creation, students must now consider who is profiting from this piece.  They must also consider what that profit looks like.  An author who sells her painting is directly profiting through the sale; however, a writer who freely distributes their text on the internet may profit through exposure and name recognition.  Something freely given still has value, as there are always ways the creator is profiting.  Even anonymous graffiti artists eventually profit from the creation of their text, as their works can gain a following despite the free distribution of their works.

5. How can I influence the creation of a similar text in the future?

Students must now identify their own agency.  If they don’t like a text, what can they do to influence it going forward?  While this was once a difficult task, today’s Social Media allows them to have direct influence over a variety of texts.  They can successfully alter future texts through Twitter petitions, Facebook sharing, or direct messaging to authors and content creators.  When students identify things they agree or disagree with, they now have a voice to express themselves and enact real change.

The Centre of the Triangle

Once all the questions have been asked and answered its time for students to combine their knowledge and determine the true meaning of a text.  By looking at only the Text itself, they will lose out on the understanding that comes from realizing the Creator actually markets a competing message.  By looking only at the Creation, students will not have a full grasp on why specific details have been included, as they won’t be trying to see how the piece is only directed to one small group of people.

Armed with an understanding of The Media Triangle students will have a tool that they can use on a forward basis to identify, analyze, and discover meanings and messages from each and every text they encounter.


Media Triangle – WhatBinder.PDF

Teaching Gender Representation in the Media

There are few things more important than teaching students to view the world through a critical lens.  “How individuals construct their social identities, how they come to understand what it means to be male [or] female … is shaped by commodified texts produced by media for audiences that are increasingly segmented by the social constructions … gender.”1

The questions teachers have is rarely, Should I teach Gender Representation in my classroom? and more often How do I teach Gender Representation in my classroom?

How Do I Teach Gender Representation in my Classroom?

There are a number of different approaches.  This multi-part series will focus on a variety of methods.  You are free to choose one that works for you, and work it into your classroom, or you may choose to develop a larger unit that incorporates all aspects of this series.

How will these lessons be organized?

Lessons will be presented in the order I find they are best sequenced in a classroom environment.

What are the different lessons?

It’s always good to have an idea of where we’re going.  Please read the various lessons and their descriptions to determine which pieces work best for you.

1. The Toy Box

Regardless of age, everyone has a memory of a toy that they loved when they were a child, or a toy they wanted but they were never given.  The things we play with help determine the people we grow into.  This lesson focuses on separating boy toys from girl toys while pausing to take a look at why we sorted the objects the way we did.

Key Concepts
Gender Normative Roles
Who enforces Gender Normative behaviours
How marketing helps set the stage for who we become


2. The Gender Box

Building off of the foundation from The Toy Box we look further into the gender normative roles students feel they need to fulfill.  By confronting prejudices and allowing students to speak openly about their experiences, the foundation is strengthened with shared experiences and concepts.

Key Concepts
Gender Normative Roles
Who enforces Gender Normative behaviours
How Gender Normative roles have affected students
Possible Extension
Looking at Intersectionality


X: A Fabulous Child’s Story – Literacy Skills Review

Having developed a strong foundation of gender normative behaviour and thought, students may be prepared to read a short story, and review a number of their literacy skills.

Key Concepts
Literacy Skills: Inferring, Questioning, Summarizing, Visualizing, Connecting
Point Evidence Evaluation Paragraph Writing
Possible Extension
Gender Neutral Children in Real Life


3. The Past is Present [Part 1 / Part 2]

By examining a number of historical and contemporary advertisements, students will begin to see how ludicrous modern messaging is when primed through the problematic advertisements of decades past.  Students will then have an opportunity to examine advertisements that they experience through the same lens.

Key Concepts
Media Analysis
Literacy Skills: Comparing
Analyzing different forms of texts


Introducing The Media Triangle

While this lesson doesn’t require specific connections to Gender Normative media, it will highlight the importance of viewing all texts through three lenses: Audience, Text, and Production.  Students will then apply these concepts to a variety of pieces, before readying themselves to fully explore Gender Normative texts.

Key Concepts
Media Analysis through multiple lenses
How production influences messages and meaning


4. Using the Media Triangle to Annotate Advertisements

Building on the concepts from the last lesson, students will choose specific advertisements, analyzing them through all three sides of the Media Triangle.  Students will then present their findings to the class, allowing all students to take an in-depth look at a variety of contemporary texts and the problematic nature of their messaging.

Key Concepts
Annotating visual texts
Possible Extensions
Using digital tools to annotate static texts
Using digital tools to annotate video texts


5. The Gender R.A.F.T.

Students will consider the reasons behind Gender Normative behaviours, and create a R.A.F.T. (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) letter that will help them formalize their thoughts.

Key Concepts
Identifying Main and Supporting details
Synthesizing complex topics into a succinctly written piece


6. Reshaping Gender Normative Roles

Students will be challenged to explore their personal space, school, community, and beyond.  During their explorations, they will identify both positive and negative messaging, while seeking to understand how to create lasting impact and change

Key Concepts
Text-to-Self and Text-to-World connections
Predicting the future role of Gender Normative behaviours
Becoming agents of change in their environment

PART 1: Gender Representation in the Media

PART 2: Lesson – The Toy Box

PART 3: Lesson – The Gender Box

PART 4: Lesson – The Past is Present – Part 1

PART 5: Lesson – The Past is Present – Part 2

PART 6: Lesson – Annotating Texts

PART 7: Lesson – Gender R.A.F.T.

PART 8: Lesson – Reshaping Roles

PART 9: Final Thoughts

PART 10: Gender Representation – Resources


1. GENDER, RACE, AND MEDIA REPRESENTATION: Dwight E. Brooks and Lisa P. Hébert

Twine 2 / Choose Our Way tale: Downloadable Resources

Now that you have learned all about Choose Our Way tales and how to create them using Twine 2 you may want to print physical hardcopies of the tutorial.  Feel free to distribute my sheets for non-commercial purposes.

Examples of apps made using this method can be found at: Sammi’s Quest: Google Play Store

Free Demo can be downloaded to your Android Device Here: Sammi’s Quest: Vol. 1 – The Wandering Ogres (Demo)

The Full Version can be purchased for your Android Device Here: Sammi’s Quest: Vol. 1 – The Wandering Ogres (Full Release)



Alligator River – Alternate Choices

Branching Story Graphic Organizers

Choose Our Way tale Story Templates

Palm Story Notetaking Sheet

Twine 2 Short Story Assignment

Snowflake Method of COWtales

Twine 2 Long Story Assignment

Converting Twine 2 Stories to Android APK Apps



PART 1: Introduction to Choose Our Way tales





Introduction to Choose Our Way Tales

Choose Our Way tales (COWtales) are stories where the reader gets to make a choice about the direction the story will follow.  By being an active participant in the story, readers are more engaged and willing to press forward through the text.

COWtales have a number of branching plot threads, as well as a variety of endings.  By providing multiple outcomes readers are encouraged to read, and reread the same text over and over again.  Some people have even tried reading

Differnt types of COWtales


The first, and most beloved type of COWtale is Choose Your Own Adventure.  In fact, you may be calling all COWtales Choose Your Own Adventure stories, but you would be wrong to do so.  That term has been copyrighted for some time, and those seeking to use the term often find themselves in legal hot water.   Changing one or two words, however, puts you in the clear.

There are a number of types of COWtales such as: Plant Your Path, Choose Your Own Minecraft Story, Choose Your Own Misery, Choose Your Path, An Interactive Doomsday Adventure, A Chooseable-Path Adventure, You Choose, and Choose the Scare.

Obviously COWtale is another such term, but I choose to use it as a generic term that covers all the chooseable path adventures.

Where to Start?

The first thing you’ll want to do is familiarize yourself with some of the more popular texts.  There are a huge amount available through online book stores including your childhood favourites, long since out of print.

Next, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the history of the genre.  Again, most of you are probably familiar with those brilliant white covered books you had as a child.

Many of them have been redrawn as “story maps” that show the various ways the stories connect, and split apart.

This brief introduction will provide you with everything you need to know about Choose Your Own Adventure stories: Hidden Structures of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Books

Next Steps

Now that you’re familiar with COWtales it’s time to press on and discover how to introduce and write Choose Our Way tales with students.


PART 1: Introduction to Choose Our Way tales





Google Forms Downloadable Resources

Now that you have learned all there is to learn about Google Forms you may want to print physical hardcopies of the tutorial.  Feel free to distribute my sheets for non-commercial purposes.


Google Forms – Tutorial Book – WhatBinder.pdf








More to Learn About Google Forms

In the last part you learned how to create a self-marking Google Forms quiz.  Now we will see that there is always more to learn, and always more to explore.  Even though you have learned how to create self-marking forms, your journey is not at an end.  Sadly, your journey with me has all but reached its conclusion.  In this part you will be exposed to a few more features you can explore on your own time to fully unlock the power of Google Forms.

Additional Features

You will find a few more features that could be useful to your Google Forms experience in this section.

Exporting Results to Google Sheets

GoogleForms4-1On the results screen you will notice a white cross in a green square.  Clicking on this will allow you to format all responses as a Google Sheet.

This file can be used in Excel or in Google Sheets.  There are a number of complex calculations you can do with raw data generated by Google Forms.

Releasing Pre-Filled Forms

Sharing a pre-filled form can be accomplished by using the three-dot-menu at the top of your form, and selecting Get pre-filled link.  This will take you to a page where you can answer a number of questions.  When you click submit you will be given a link.  Any user who uses that link will start with your pre-filled answers, rather than blank answers.


Shuffling Response Options

From the three-dot-menu for a specific question you can select “Shuffle option order”.  This will randomize the order the answers are shown for that question.

This could prevent users from looking at other screens and selecting “the second option”.

Do not worry, this will not affect the self-marking correct answer.


Shuffling Question Order

Similar to shuffling responses, you can set the form to shuffle the order of the questions.  This can be set in the Presentation section of the form settings.


This is not recommended if you use videos or images, as they will be shuffled too!


Next Steps

In our Next Part you will be able to download a PDF guide that can be printed out for convenient offline access.








Creating a Google Form Quiz

In the last part you learned how to make an Advanced Google Form.  Now that you know how to create a number of different types of forms, you will be putting those skills to use in an effort to make your life easier.  If you have not read the previous chapters, please familiarize yourself with that material, as terms and concepts will be referred to in the creation of our next Google Form.  It is important to know that Google Forms can be used to make both self-marking and manual-marking quizzes.  Their ability to give students immediate feedback makes them excellent teaching tools.

Creating a Google Forms Quiz

Before we create a self-marking quiz it is important to understand the differences between quiz forms and the Google Forms we have looked at up to this point.  Once you are comfortable with the ideas and concepts of creating a Google Forms Quiz, you will have no problem making a self-marking quiz.

Creating a Basic Quiz

What we will learn in this section:

  • We will be reviewing and putting into practice all the skills learned to this point.

Step 1: Setting Up the Questions

Create a new blank form and:

  • Change the title and filename to “Gendered Lego Quiz”.
  • Write a Form description that reads “This quiz will test your understanding of the tropes and stereotypes present in the marketing of Lego sets.
  • Add a title that reads “Part 1: Marketing Images
  • Move the title to the top of your form.
  • In your web-browser search google images for “Lego Advertisement” (you need to search in your web browser, because the integrated image search only looks for images that are licenced for commercial use without alteration).
  • Locate this image, right-click on it and “Copy Image Address” – then, paste the URL, and add it to your form:
  • Under the image add the following questions:
    • [Paragraph] Explain how this image targets a specific gender, or how it manages to remain gender neutral.
    • [Multiple Choice] What message is this text trying to communicate to its readers?
      • Write a description that reads “Choose the most correct answer from those listed below.
      • Add the options:
        • Lego is only for boys
        • Lego is only for girls
        • Lego will improve your self-esteem
        • Lego is difficult to use
      • Add a new Title that reads “Feminist Frequency
      • Add a Title Description that reads “Watch the following clip and answer the questions below.
      • Add the video “Feminist Frequency Lego & Gender Part 1
      • Increase the size of the video to fill the width of your form.
      • Under the video add the following questions:
        • [Checkboxes] What positive benefits has research consistently shown playing with Lego leads to?
          • Write a description that reads “Choose the two most correct answers.
          • Add the options:
            • Lego is a gateway for math, science, and engineering fields
            • Lego will make you more popular at recess
            • Lego will give you a better understanding of pop culture trends
            • Lego accelerates childhood development
          • Set the data validation to “Select exactly 2”
        • [Multiple Choice] What colours does the new Lego Friends line use to target girls?
          • Add the options:
            • Pink and Gold
            • Pink and Green
            • Pink and Purple
            • Purple and Blue
          • Create a new section
          • Title the new section “Lego on Television
          • Create a new title that reads “Lego Friends
          • Add the video “Lego Friends Dolphin Cruise”
          • Add the following Questions:
            • [Paragraph] Explain how this video targets a specific gender, or how it manages to remain gender neutral.
            • [Multiple Choice] Which character is not one of the main Lego Friends?
              • Add the options:
                • Mia
                • Emma
                • Olivia
                • Andrea
                • Sandra
                • Stephanie



Turning a Quiz into a Google Form Quiz

What we will learn in this section:

  • How to turn a Form into a Quiz
  • How to understand the Quiz options
  • How to assign points (grade) to a question
  • How to assign correct answers to a question
  • How to add specific question feedback

Step 2: Making the Form a Quiz

Now that you have a form set up, with multiple sections, images, videos, and titles, it’s time to turn it into a quiz.  While you could just allow students to fill out the form, as normal, and check their answers in the results page – keeping track of their grades on a separate sheet of paper, there is a more integrated way to use the Quiz functionality of Google Forms.

GoogleForms3-2First, click on the settings icon at the top of the screen.  Next, select the Quiz tab and toggle the option “Make this a quiz” to on.


Step 3: Understanding the Quiz Options

You will be presented with a number of options.  They may seem confusing and overwhelming at first, but after a moment’s pause to take them in you will realize they’re quite straight forward.

Release Grade has two options.  If you select “Immediately” then students will be given their grade as soon as they complete their quiz.  This is useful if the quiz is all multiple choice, and you want to ensure students are aware of corrections straight away.

If you were creating a quiz that tested students’ knowledge on a new digital literacy tool, immediate feedback is excellent as the user can correct themselves straight away.

Later” allows you to go through all of the results before you students are informed of their marks.  We will need to select this option as we have Paragraph Questions that will require manual marking.

Ensure that you have selected the Radio Button beside Later, after manual review.

GoogleForms3-4.pngNote that if you hover the mouse cursor over the help icon it will explain what the other options do.  I would recommend keeping them checked.

Step 4: Assigning Grade Values

Now that you have turned your form into a quiz, you will notice that every question has a new option.  Click on the first question, “Explain how this image targets a specific gender, or how it manages to remain gender neutral.

You will notice at the bottom of the question there is a new option: ANSWER KEY.


Click ANSWER KEY to access the Feedback and Points screen.


From this screen you can assign the amount of points this question will be worth.  For our purposes we will assign the paragraph questions 3 points each.

Assign the multiple choice and checkbox questions 1 point each.

This will give us a quiz that has a total score of 10.

Assign these points now, by clicking on the individual questions and entering the correct point value.

Step 5: Assign Correct Answers

While we haven’t reached the stage where google can mark paragraph responses… yet – we are at the stage where it can quickly mark your multiple choice and checkbox questions.

All you have to do is tell the Quiz what the correct answers are.

You may have noticed when setting point values that you can also set the correct answers.  Doing so is simple.  Just return to the questions, and click the correct answer on the ANSWER KEY screen.


Note:    Should you wish, you can assign multiple correct answers.


For the Checkbox question, it is important that all correct answers are selected.

Step 6: Adding Specific Feedback

When you hand back the quiz through the results screen, students will be made aware of the correct answers for multiple choice questions.  However, if you want more specific feedback that is returned – depending on if the answer was correct or incorrect – you can add it from the ANSWER KEY screen.

Simply click on ADD ANSWER FEEDBACK.


Select the question Which character is not one of the main Lego Friends?

And Add feedback for INCORRECT ANSWERS:

It’s understandable that you thought Stephanie was not one of the Lego friends, as she is the only one whose name does not end with “A”, however, the correct answer (Sandra) can be discovered by watching the introduction scene.

Note that you can also include a weblink that might direct the user to information that would help reinforce the graded skill.

Note:    You might also find it helpful to include feedback to the paragraph answers.  You might include remarks such as:

  • Ensure you use correct spelling and grammar
  • Please use the correct Point, Evidence, Evaluation format we learned in class
  • Use specific details from the text to support your answers

By doing this, when you are reviewing and marking the quiz you can delete skills users successfully demonstrated, while leaving comments to remind them of their areas of need.  This will prevent you from needing to re-write similar comments time and time again.

Step 7: Preview your quiz, and Submit

Now that your quiz is fully set up with questions, grades, and correct answers you are ready to deploy it into the wild.  However, before you do take a moment to answer it yourself.  This will allow you to ensure everything is working as expected.

Reviewing and Grading a Quiz

What we will learn in this section:

  • How to turn a Form into a Quiz
  • How to understand the Quiz options
  • How to assign points (grade) to a question
  • How to assign correct answers to a question
  • How to add specific question feedback
  • How to grade a quiz
  • How to release graded quizzes

Step 8: Reviewing the Quiz Response Summary

Having run through the quiz, yourself, you will have one response to assess.  Toggle your quiz to the RESPONSE screen.

You will be greeted with a summary of results.  Note that only the automatically graded questions will be marked at this time.


Step 9: Reviewing Individual Results

The meaningful section of the results screen is the individual results pages.  Use the toggle to select individual results.


Note that you can now view the entire quiz on one scrolling page.  You can see both correct and incorrect questions marked with checks and Xs.

Beside each question, you will also notice a grade out of the total available points.

Correct choices will be displayed next to incorrect answers, and if you have assigned specific feedback that will also be provided in the individual results.


Note:    Should you wish, you can override the automatically assigned grade, as well as the automatic feedback.

Step 10: Marking Written Responses

As we know, written responses cannot be marked automatically.  However, the answers students wrote will be displayed under the question – just as they are with multiple choice questions.


GoogleForms3-14From this screen you can assign a grade using the points selector to the right of the question.

You can also click on ADD INDIVIDUAL FEEDBACK which will open up a screen to write a specific response.  If you added feedback while making the quiz, that will be displayed.  You can add or remove anything you wish from these comments.

These will only be displayed to the user who wrote the answer you are currently grading.


Step 11: Saving a Marked Quiz

When you have finished assigning grades to an individual user, it is imperative that you click the SAVE button at the bottom of the screen.


Due to the nature of technology, I advise that you save often throughout the marking process – especially if you have written a number of detailed notes in response to a written answer.

Step 12: Marking the Next Response

You can use the response selector at the top of each individualized response to navigate through each user’s quiz.


Note that their e-mail address is recorded, indicating who wrote the response.  You also have the option to delete, or print a hard copy, of their response.

Once you have selected a new response, simply repeat the grading process.

Step 13: Reviewing the Summary Screen Again

Now that you have marked each quiz, you will notice that the results in the summary screen are far more valuable.  Use them to assess your practice.

Step 14: Returning Results

You can return results from either the Individual Result screen or the summary screen.  To do so click the RELEASE SCORES button.

On the Summary screen this button can be found above the scores summary:


On the indivudal Results screen this button can be found on the individual results bar at the top:


Once you have clicked on the button you will be able to select some, or all, of the results to return.  Select the results you wish to return by checking the box next to the users’ email addresses.

You can also add a message that will be included with the results.  I suggest you add

Please find, attached, the results from your quiz.  If you have any questions about your grade, feel free to contact me.


Once you have added the message click SEND EMAILS AND RELEASE.

Step 15: Results E-Mail

It’s important to know what students will see when they have a quiz returned to them.  In their e-mail they will see their final grade, and be prompted with a button to view the results.


When they click on the VIEW button they will see a screen similar to what you saw when you were marking their responses.  The only difference is they will not be able to edit their grade, or comments.

Note:    If you selected “Release Grade Immediately” students could view this screen directly after submission.


Step 16: Congratulate Yourself; Take a Break

You’re now a master of Google Forms.  You can mark complex forms, and create self-grading quizzes.  You’re amazing!


Next Steps

In our Next Part we will discover that there’s always more to learn.









Creating an Advanced Google Form

In the last part you learned how to make a basic Google Form.  This section will expand your knowledge of Google Form creation.  Not only will you create a form with a variety of question types, we will also add images, videos, titles, and sections.  Finally, you will create multi-branching forms where specific responses will lead users to different questions.

Creating an Interactive Form

Having learned how to create a basic form in Chapter Two, you will be tasked to create a quick form that we will add new, and interactive elements to.

Adding Advanced Features

What we will learn in this section:

  • How to add an image
  • How to add a video
  • How to add a title

Step 1: Set up a Basic Form

To begin, create a new form titled “Gender and Video Games

Add the following three questions:

How familiar are you with Video Games?

  • Change the question type to “Linear Scale.” This is a new type, but it is similar to multiple choice.  The only difference is it will create the options of 1 to 5.
  • In the space provided label 1 “Unfamiliar” and label 5 “Very Familiar
  • Add a description that reads “Select the number which best represents your level of familiarity with video games.


Which elements do you commonly find in video games?

  • Create a check box question with the following options:
    • Strong Male Characters
    • Strong Female Characters
    • Sexualized Male Characters
    • Sexualized Female Characters
    • Rescuing Male Characters
    • Rescuing Female Characters
    • Killing Male Characters
    • Killing Female Characters
    • Kidnapping Male Characters
    • Kidnapping Female Characters

Note:    You can copy and paste a number of choices into your form, so long as they are formatted as one choice per line.


Do you prefer games with Male protagonists or Female protagonists?

  • Create a multiple choice question with two options:
    • Male protagonists
    • Female protagonists


Step 2: Adding Images to Your Form

GoogleForms2-4To add an image to your form, you need to click the Add Image button on the Insert Options toolbar.

You can choose to upload an image from your computer, paste the URL to an image, take a picture using a webcam, or add an image from your Google Drive.

However, the easiest way to add an image to your form is to click on the Search option.  This allows you to search Google Images for a specific image.

For our purposes search for “Video Game Characters

You can refine your search by colour, if you want to keep a specific theme.  Right now, you are searching for an image that displays a number of video game characters.  Choose one that suits your needs by clicking on it.

GoogleForms2-5Then click the select button in the bottom left.  This will add the image to your form.

Use the movement tab to drag the image all the way to the top of your form.


Step 3: Adding a Video to Your Form

GoogleForms2-7Adding a video is nearly identical to adding an image.  Click on the Add video button, search for an appropriate video, and click the select button.

For our purposes search for a video about video game characters.  I searched for “Cammy vs Guile” and selected:【SSF4 AE Ver.2012】Cammy (Kitano Takeshi) vs Guile (COMEON0418788) – Endless Battle

I used this video because Cammy and Guile are essentially the same character (highly trained western military officers) – however, a number of gender distinctions are obvious when comparing the two.

You can feel free to adding a video about Mario Kart, Zelda, or anything else that is relevant to video games.

Once you have added this video, use the movement tab to drag it above your second question.

Step 4: Directing Users to View the Video

Once the video has been added, and placed above the question Which elements do you commonly find in video games? add a description to the question.

The description should read: To answer this question, use your own prior knowledge, as well as information gained through watching the above clip.

Step 5: Resizing and Aligning the Video

GoogleForms2-8Click on the video, and you will see a blue rectangle with four square anchor points in the corners.  Click on the bottom left anchor and drag it, to enlarge the video.

GoogleForms2-9.pngNext, click to the side of your video clip and you will notice a three-dot-menu is displayed.  Click on it, and select “Center align”.


Step 6: Adding a Title

GoogleForms2-11.pngAdding a title is even easier than adding an image for video.  Simply click on the Add title button, and an “Untitled Title” will pop up.

Rename the title “What do You Know?” and drag it to the top, using the movement tab.

Copy the title, just like you would copy a question.  Rename the copy to “Video Game Characters” and drag it above the video you added.

Copy that title, and rename the copy to “What do You Prefer?” and drag it above your final question.

Now, when you preview your form, you will see that each question has its own heading.  You may want to use less headings on your own forms, going forward.  The colour of the title changes depending on the theme you have selected.


Note:    You can also add a description below titles if you want.  This can be a great way to create different parts of your form.



Creating Sections

What we will learn in this section:

  • How to add Sections
  • How to add data validation to questions
  • How to duplicate a section
  • How to choose sections based on answers

Step 7: Creating a New Section

GoogleForms2-13Forms can be broken up into sections.  Each section is a different “screen” for the user.  This can be useful when you want a user to be focused on a new idea or concept in your form.  It can also help keep a multi-question form from scrolling ever-downwards, without end.

To create a new section, simply click on the Add section button on the Insert Options toolbar.

Note that the new section will be created directly below your currently selected object (question, titile, image, or video).

If you make a mistake, you can either use the keyboard shortcut [CTRL+Z] to undo the creation of the section, or you can click on the three-dot-menu for the section, and select “Merge with above”.

Note, you can also drag objects between sections, just as you would move them around on a form without sections.

Ensure that your new section is created after the final question.  Rename it from Untitled Section to Female Protagonists.

Now, after your last question, there is a button to go to the NEXT page, rather than a submission button.


Step 8: Populating Your New Section

Create the following three questions:

How are women in video games normally represented?

  • Make a check box question with the following options:
    • Heroes
    • Victims
    • Playable characters
    • Non-playable characters
    • Strong
    • Weak

Do you see your values represented in female video game characters?

  • Make a multiple choice question with the following options:
    • Yes
    • No

Explain what values you see, or do not see, represented in the characters?

  • Make a paragraph question

Step 9: Data Validation

Through data validation we can add certain requirements to our questions.  For example, if we wanted the user to consider a number of different ways women are portrayed in video games, we might want them to pick more than one of the six options.  However, perhaps we don’t want them to pick all of them.  We want them to be specific.

First, add a description to the question that reads Choose the three options that best apply.

GoogleForms2-15Note that when you went into the three-dot-menu to add a description to the question, there was also an option reading “Data Validation”.  Click it.

New options will have appeared at the bottom of your question.


Choose Select exactly, change the number to 3, and add a custom error text of “You must select exactly three options.


Failure to add a custom error message will display the default of “Must select exactly 3 options”

Step 10: More Data Validation

Now that you’re an expert of Data Validation, add some to your paragraph answer as well.  Note that the type of data validation is different for this question.  You aren’t adding restrictions on what options the user can choose, instead you’re ensuring they have a specific character count.

Since the average word length in English is five characters, set the minimum character count to 500.  This is approximately 100 words.

Step 11: Duplicating a Section

GoogleForms2-18.pngIf you need two similar sections, it can be advantageous to simply duplicate them.  We require another section exactly like the Female Protagonists, but for Male Protagonists.   Rather than creating the questions again, we will just copy the entire section.

To duplicate a section, scroll to the top of the section, and click on the three-dot-menu and choose “Duplicate section.”

You will now have an exact copy below your current section.

Step 12: Modifying the Duplicate

Rename the duplicated section to Male Protagonists.

Change the word women to men in the first question.

Change the word female to male in the second question.

Step 13: Beautifying the Sections

Add an image of a female video game character to the top of the Female Protagonists section, and a male video game character to the top of the Male Protagonists section

I used Link and Zelda from The Legend of Zelda series.

Step 14: Admire your Form

Now that you’ve completed your new section, click the preview button and navigate through your form.  Note that after the first section, you will reach the second sections, and then the third section, before you can submit.

Looks pretty good, but we’re not done yet!



Branching Sections

What we will learn in this section:

  • How to choose sections based on answers

Step 15: Understanding Section Connections

Scroll all the way back to the last question of section one.  Note that at the end of that section it says “After section 1 Continue to next section”.  If you click on Continue to next section you will open a dropdown menu:


You can choose what should happen once the user completes that section.  Should that end the form, leading to submission, or should it lead to section 3, or simply continue to the next numerical section?

We are not going to be changing this.  But – it is important to understand that you can select what section will be displayed after clicking the NEXT button.

Step 16: Choosing Sections Based on Answers

You do not need to send your users through each section on your form.  There may be times when you want users to be asked certain questions only if they gave certain answers to a prior question.

For our purposes, we are going to use the last question in the first section to determine if the user will be asked the Male Protagonist questions or the Female Protagonist questions.

Click on the Do you prefer games with Male protagonists or Female protagonists? question.  Click on the three-dot-menu, and select Go to section based on answer.


Once you have selected this, each of the multiple choice options will display a dropdown menu allowing you to choose which section that specific answer will send the user to.

Set the options so that answering Male Protagonist will send the user to the Male Protagonist section, and that answering Female Protagonist will send the user to the Female Protagonist section.


Step 17: Setting a Section Submission

If you preview the form, you will notice that if the user selects Male Protagonist, they will go to the final section, and be able to submit their results.  However, if they select Female Protagonist they will be send to the Male Protagonist section after clicking NEXT in the Female Protagonist section.

Refer back to Step 15 for information on how to change a section to submit upon completion, rather than continuing to the next section.

Scroll to the bottom of Section Two, click on Continue to next section and change it to Submit form.

Step 18: Reflect on How Great You Are

That’s it.  You’re done.  You have a beautiful form with a number of sections, integrated video and images, and helpful titles.

At this point you have learned all the advanced features of basic Google Forms.



Next Steps

In our Next Part we will learn how to create a self-marking quiz, or a more advanced test that self-marks the multiple choice questions, while allowing the creator to mark the written responses.