iThrive Curriculum: Sam's Journey is a social and emotional learning unit that uses Accidental Queens' award-winning game A Normal Lost Phone to engage 11th and 12th grade students in English and humanities classes.
Smartphones tell a story about who we are in the form of texts, emails, photos, apps, and more. A Normal Lost Phone invites your students to decode and explore the contents of a lost one. As students play, they uncover the story of Sam, to whom the phone belongs. The three-lesson unit, , co-created with veteran teachers and UDL experts, guides the teens in your class as they explore digital and nonlinear narrative forms while reflecting on how we communicate about who we are in our relationships.

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In iThrive Curriculum: Sam's Journey, your 11th and 12th grade students follow a story uniquely told through digital artifacts, examining how different modes of communications are used to express thoughts and feelings. In doing so, they'll deconstruct storytelling techniques as they explore how identity is expressed and influenced by public and private communication.
iThrive Curriculum: Sam's Journey includes three pre-written, teacher-vetted, student-approved lessons for 11th and 12th grade English classes. Social and emotional learning opportunities are embedded into assignments and discussion prompts to support students' meaningful exploration of identity, communication, and complex relationships. The concise, three-lesson format of the unit can stand alone or extend other units related to storytelling techniques and tactics while offering a small taste of what play and game-based learning can do in a classroom.

iThrive is committed to reducing barriers to accessing high-quality, teen-centered learning opportunities.
Through the generosity of Accidental Queens, we can provide free educational access to A Normal Lost Phone for classrooms that do not have the resources to buy licenses. If the cost of the game presents a barrier to using iThrive Curriculum: Sam's Journey, please fill out this short Google form.

  • Suited for 11th and 12th Grade English and humanities classes
  • Sessions: Sam's Journey can be taught in three 45-minute class periods, plus optional extension activities. 
  • Standards: The unit aligns to state and national English Language Arts Standards, social and emotional learning standards, and social justice standards.


iThrive Curriculum: Sam's Journey was created in collaboration with students from the Harvard Graduate School of Education: Jennifer Guerin, Kathleen Moore, Sophie Rich, Julia Wareham, and Jordana Weiner.
A special thank you to Dr. Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann, Kristin Robinson, Dr. Paul Darvasi, Dr. Shawn Clybor, and high school students from Dwight-Englewood School for their contributions.

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