There are far fewer educational simulations built specifically for Language Arts instruction as compared to other content areas like science and social studies. However, despite the lack of Language Arts-specific simulations, there are still plenty of opportunities for educators to use simulations to teach disciplinary literacy skills in this content areas. One way for teachers to find these simulations is to focus on the simulation as supplemental material, rather than direct content. For example, using Google Earth or 3Dvia, students can engage in simulations revolving around the settings of novels. Depending on the task the teacher creates for the students, they can work on reading strategies such as inference, questioning, visualization, and clarification. Simply allowing students to experience the setting of a novel through a virtual world can help them to develop the empathy needed to successfully interact with these reading and critical thinking strategies for English Language Arts.
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This simulation was created using Google Sketch-Up and 3Dvia. Students use an avatar to walk around a virtual world of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler's house in order to make inferences about her and learn about characterization. Using QR codes embedded throughout the model, students get access to discussion questions that ask them to make textual connections.
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In this simulation, students reading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler explore the setting of the novel, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through Google Art Project's virtual world of the museum. Students are able to make textual connections, inferences, and visualizations by navigating through the real museum on the website.
See the video below to learn more about this virtual simulation.